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A NEW BEGINNING: His Highness the Mayor of Riyadh launches the AUDI’s 2025 Strategy

22 Jan 2024

Riyadh | On 22nd January 2024, in the presence of several dignitaries, ambassadors, and representatives from various Arab cities, His Highness Prince Dr. Faisal bin Ayyaf, the Mayor of Riyadh and President of the Arab Urban Development Institute, launched the AUDI’s 2025 Strategy.

His Highness welcomed the guests from Arab cities, emphasizing the role of Arab cities in preserving and producing culture and civilization, from which the world has drawn inspiration for urban arts and city planning. He expressed his delight in announcing a new phase for the Arab Urban Development Institute, a significant institution supported by the government of Saudi Arabia and headquartered in Riyadh. This phase aims to lead the development and modernization of Arab cities to regain their urban and developmental moment. He highlighted Riyadh’s status as a global hub for knowledge and development, which has attracted global attention and gained its trust by being chosen to host Expo 2030.

The President of AUDI affirmed that the institute’s strategic plan focuses on transforming its role and activities to be more responsive and supportive to member cities. The process of developing such a strategy required comprehensive analyses of the current situation, with the participation of municipalities, experts, and organizations through a structured survey conducted by AUDI. Moreover, it involved the recruitment of new talent, as well as leveraging regional and international expertise. Collectively, they helped identify regional developmental challenges, opportunities, and cities’ expectations regarding the institute’s future role.   His Highness called upon partners from member cities and municipalities, international organizations, universities, and stakeholders interested in urban development to engage and participate in AUSI’s programs and activities, which are designed to benefit and foster a positive impact in the domain of urban development.   AUDI’s Director General, Dr. Anas Almughairy, presented the highlights of the institute’s 2025 Strategy, noting that it had been in development since the fourth quarter of 2022 under the guidance of His Highness, the AUDI’s President. The strategy’s launch today is based on in-depth studies of various developmental challenges and opportunities within Arab cities and municipalities, as well as their need to align with modern trends in urban development. He pointed out that the institute’s strategic plan aimed to restructure its programs and activities to align with the needs of partners and beneficiaries from the cities’ members of the Arab Towns Organization (ATO), focusing on developing communication channels with partners through the institute’s website, social media platforms, and through establishing regional and international partnerships for the implementation of projects within the new strategic framework. These efforts resulted in the emergence of the 13 initiatives within three primary tracks, representing Urban Policy Research, Training and Capacity Development, and Networking.   The ceremony also witnessed the signing of the project “Green Activities in Arab Cities: Participatory Neighborhood Greening” between AUDI and the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, to support the institute’s activities in several Arab cities. The event also featured visual presentations outlining the institute’s aspirations to achieve leadership in the regional urban development domain and its efforts to connect with people through a presentation titled “Why Do You Love Your City?” Additionally, it showcased programs and projects of the institute’s 2025 strategy, including an overview of the Mudununa newsletter, the “Mudun +” initiative, the Executive Program in Innovation and Urban management, and the Arab Urban Development Portal. The launch venue also hosted an accompanying exhibition titled “Live The City,” which depicted multiples aspects of city live across the Arab region.