Governance of Spatial Change

Shaping urban policies and investments in Kuwait

A collaboration with Kuwait University to explore the links between urban governance and spatial development.

There is a growing wealth of context-sensitive evidence and practical guidance about policies, investments and land use patterns that support more sustainable models of urban development. But even when there is political will, many countries and cities around the world struggle with implementation. By looking at the particular case of metropolitan Kuwait, this project explores whether this may be explained by governance.

In Kuwait, past decisions have led to a city characterised by low-density urban sprawl, heavy reliance on private cars, spatial segregation and limited use of public space. To analyse the governance framework underpinning these decisions, the project will look into the relevant laws and institutions, public finance mechanisms, and norms, traditions, aspirations and informal relationships shaping urban governance in Kuwait.

The research will also take stock of spatial inequalities and cross reference them with socioeconomic traits such as ethnicity and class. This will be instrumental to test the links between governance arrangements and socioeconomic and political outcomes. A key objective is producing research findings that can inform Kuwaiti decision-makers about reforms that could help shape future spatial development in the metropolis.

Photo: Google Earth 

Project Team

Principal Investigator
Dr Nuno F. da Cruz, LSE Cities 

Co-Principal Investigator
Dr Dhari Alrasheed, Kuwait University 

Muneerah Alrabe, Kuwait University 
Abdullah Al-Khonaini


Dhari Alrasheed and Nuno F. da Cruz (11 July 2023) Governance Obstacles in Kuwait’s Path to a More Sustainable Urban Future


Principal Investigator
Dr Nuno F. da Cruz 

Co-Principal Investigator
Dr Dhari Alrasheed

Research Team
Muneerah Alrabe
Abdullah Al-Khonaini

Project Partner
Kuwait University

Project Funder
LSE Kuwait Programme

Research Strand
Urban Governance

September 2020 - December 2021