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Al Shaheed Park

Kuwait, Kuwait

2012 - Ongoing
CultureGreen InfrastructurePublic SpacesUrban Park

Project Description

Approach Words: Inclusive City, Sustainability, Urban Livability

Public Policy Instruments: Physical Intervention, Planning

Al Shaheed Park, which translates to “Park of the Martyrs”, is the largest urban park1 and green infrastructure2 project in Kuwait 3. The Park, previously known as “The Green Belt”, is part of the Kuwait City Structure Plan (2005-2030)i and acts as multi-functional public and green space4 surrounding the capital city. It addresses the impacts of climate change including desertification, increased temperatures, and air pollution. The Park seeks to maintain the Kuwait’s history and culture5, improve the quality of life6 and enhance the city’s resilience7 .

Covering almost 20 hectares at a length of 2.5km, Al Shaheed Park is a conversion of the historic Green Belt Park of 19618. Prompted by concerns regarding the former park’s deteriorating condition, the Emir Office in Kuwait reclaimed it for the purpose of national events in the memory of war martyrs9. The intent for the new conversion is threefold: First, it narrates the story of the land and highlight its historical and cultural significance. Second, it serves as an active area for sports activities, cultural festivals, and educational programs for both adults and children10. Third, it protects the city from the effects of sandstorms and air pollution11.

Title: Green belt in the Kuwait City Structure Plan (2005-2030)

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Title: Phases of implementation of Al Shaheed Park.

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Title: Aerial view shows phase 1 of Al Shaheed Park.

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Title: Aerial view shows phase 2 of Al Shaheed Park.

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The park consists of three distinct sections of green spaces, each developed in a separate phase with a unique master plan. The first two parts (phases 1 and 2) have been competed while the third is under construction:

  • Phase 1 (2013-2015) comprises the first part of Al Shaheed Park, designed by “Stroop + Ricardo Camacho”12 which extends along 0.22 square kilometers of land13. This part features walking paths, botanical gardens, fountains, environmental and historical memorial museums, visitor centers, restaurants, shops, and underground parking. The buildings are distinguished with green roofs14. Other designers contribute in designing some parts in this phase like the constitution garden by Sdarch and Alhadeff Architect15.
  • Phase 2 (2016-2017), comprises the second part of the park, designed by The Associated Engineering Partnership “TAEP”. This part extends over 0.135 square kilometers and includes walkways, an amphitheater, a multipurpose event space, and an architecture exhibition area16.
  • Phase 3 (2018-Ongoing), also designed by “TAEP” The Associated Engineering Partnership, the third part spans 0.2 square kilometers, hosting two museum buildings, botanical gardens and social activities like an outdoor cinema, a kids’ shaded playground, a sports building, ice-skating rink, snow park, and indoor skydiving17.

Collectively, the three sections span for a 55 square kilometers linear park. All the sections use native, drought-resistant plants, including date and lemon trees, desert rose, rosemary, and Saint Augustine grasses18.

The project is under the ownership of a civic organization named Al Diwan Al Amiriii that serves as the royal court of the Emir of Kuwait19. The first two sections were implemented by Kharafi National20 and Al-Hani Construction and Trading Company21, while the third phase is currently under implementation. Today, the completed sections of the park attract approximately 2,000 daily visitors of various ages and backgrounds22, who enjoy the amenities and learn about Kuwaiti history through guided tours23.

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