Iraq Transport Master planning

The Iraq Transport Master-planning Project team has set in train a series of major improvements and opportunities for young people across four cities in Iraq - despite the desperately difficult conditions still faced in much of the country.

The Iraq Transport Master-planning Project team has set in train a series of major improvements and opportunities for young people across four cities in Iraq - despite the desperately difficult conditions still faced in much of the country.

Each city came with cultural and structural challenges, ranging from Najaf hosting one of the largest religious pilgrimages in the world, to protection of Babylonian antiquities in Hilla.

However, perhaps the biggest challenge was simply the lack of local expertise in roads and traffic assessment and management. This meant that a highly adaptable and well targeted masterplan for each city’s roads, public transport, and railways – even one incorporating existing programmes for investment - would achieve far less than it should.

Our solution

Pell Frischmann worked with universities to identify 700 students to train in infrastructure master planning and analysis, and to deploy them across the cities for assessment works. We also worked with city authorities to educate business communities and police, along with administrators, about the benefits of renewed enforcement of traffic rules. 

More than 200 students in each conurbation (Najaf and Kufa now being largely one conurbation) have been educated in key civil engineering and master planning methods including traffic survey practices and computer modelling. This, we hope, will see them enrich the management of their cities over the years ahead.

Carl Powell, International Director, explained: “There were a lot of skills that had been lost over the years in Iraq, and the scale of the task in just understanding traffic conditions as they were was huge. We couldn’t have done this without the support of universities and students, police and the business community, and we hope they all benefit from this work.”

Outcomes

By the time we concluded the project, adherence to road rules was already improving, and police had learned how best to both encourage behavioural change and use enforcement to tackle problems like U-turns on dual carriageways, which resulted in regular long hold-ups across several lanes as well as accidents and injuries.

This incredibly rewarding work by our team facilitated a move to a whole-city approach, generated a major new engineering and transport planning capacity within Iraq to help support future development and management, and has been recognised for its remarkable impact by British Expertise.

 Award

British Expertise named this project the International Master Planning Project of the Year in April 2017. Judges recognised the unique approach to partnership that made our work possible, and we were pleased to have a representative of the Iraqi Embassy attend and receive the award with us.

Stats

  • icon-arrow700 - Iraqi students trained
  • icon-arrow49 - volumetric count sites in Basra
  • icon-arrow1.7m - people live around to ancient Babylon

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