A decision was made a long time ago to divide Kuwait into distinct zones; residential, offices, industrial and commercial. At the time it seemed like a natural thing to do. I remember doing it all the time playing Sim City as a kid. This is where people work, this is where they live, and that’s where they play.
The problem with this is that you end up with very dedicated zones that serve a very specific purpose. People tend to work at the same time, sleep at night, and have fun at the weekend. This creates a lot of migration at predictable patterns which results in traffic from the evacuating masses, redundant spaces and a wasteful allocation of resources.
A good example of trying to break up this pattern is the location of The Avenues. Simply having a shopping mall located outside the designated ‘shopping district’ allowed for a completely new pattern to emerge. We need to do more of this and break up the monolithic ‘zones’ into more mixed-use spaces where people live, work and play.
4. At the edge of the neighborhood, there are shops and offices of sufficiently varied types to supply the weekly needs of a household.
This is fairly self explanatory. A lot of areas in Kuwait already have this and they’re successful in reducing the number of car trips the residents around them make. The goal here is to have them in locations where it is easy and safe to approach them by foot. If more people walk to them and the stigma against walking is overcome, we’ll see the option of walking become safer and more pleasant. People feel safer when other people are around.
5. A small ancillary building or garage apartment is permitted within the backyard of each house. It may be used as a rental unit or place to work (for example, an office or craft workshop).
This would be very successful in Kuwait. Many young people have ambitions of starting a side-business or workshop, but don’t have the money to rent an office or don’t want to bother with another daily commute. This would provide a way for them to make that happen while also transforming our neighborhoods into a lively, mixed use live-work environment.