AECOM’s 2019 Future of Infrastructure Report Shows Riyadh Citizens Want Better Engagement and More Private Sector Involvement in the Development of Their Infrastructure

Almost 80% of Riyadh’s respondents agree that the private sector
should be more involved, whilst only 14% agree that, when they are asked
to feedback, it’s at an appropriate point in the process for their voice
to be heard.

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The global research, surveyed more than 10,000 people across 10 major
international cities for their views on city infrastructure, priorities
for improvement and ambitions for future infrastructure.

Riyadh stood out in four areas: eagerness for private sector involvement
in infrastructure development, the unaffordability of electricity,
reliance on personal cars and taxis, and confidence in the city’s

Aligning to the Vision 2030, 78% of citizens responded in favour of more
private sector involvement in the development of infrastructure.
Globally this response was second only to Mumbai (82%).

Residents are frustrated by the cost of utility bills, with 75% stating
electricity bills are unaffordable, they want to see more
environmentally sustainable solutions to the city’s infrastructure

When it came to public transport, Riyadh citizens reported the lowest
use of all cities surveyed — just 5% use buses as their primary mode of
transport. Instead, the car is the clear transport mode of choice with
70% dependent on their own car and 17% on taxis to move around the city.

Where Riyadh came out on top was regarding resilience, with residents
showing confidence in the city’s resilience against natural disasters,
cyberattacks and terrorism.

Crucially, for the citizens of Riyadh, smarter, faster, better
infrastructure is a team effort. Citizens want to have more say on
infrastructure improvements earlier in the planning stage and 56%
of Riyadh citizens are happy to share their personal data with relevant
city agencies to help them improve city infrastructure or infrastructure

Ian Laski, President, AECOM Arabia said: “It’s clear that the people of
Riyadh care about their infrastructure. Open to investment and
innovation, with a young and engaged expanding population, people want
to be consulted. The Riyadh authorities are well ahead in all but one of
the cities surveyed regarding making it easy for citizens to respond
through mobile channels, but still people are critical that this
engagement is too late. Not only do people want their their opinions
heard, they want them to matter and they want a say in the future of
their city.

“Authorities should be pleased that citizens recognize the steps that
are being made to improve the city’s transportation; 72% of citizens are
happier than 12 months ago with the service provided by airports, while
60% note an improvement in roads and bridges. The next challenge will be
to ensure systems like the Riyadh Metro are fully adopted. With the
highest dependency on cars of any city surveyed, all eyes are now on
Riyadh to see how the population’s behavior will change as new
infrastructure opens to the public.”

Key Statistics


  • 40% of Riyadh citizens say that they have not had a chance to feedback
    on public transport services during the past year.
  • 46% of Riyadh citizens feel that when they are asked for feedback
    about infrastructure, it is too late in the process for their voice to
    be heard or have an impact.
  • 57% believe city planning authorities are making it easier for
    citizens to interact with them through social media


  • Outages to water supply have been experienced, on average, by Riyadh
    respondents 2.2 times in the last year
  • 43% of Riyadh citizens describe their water bill as unaffordable
  • 75% of Riyadh citizens describe their electricity bill as unaffordable
  • 40% of Riyadh respondents would be willing to pay higher taxes to fund
    improvements of infrastructure.
  • 41% of Riyadh citizens would not be willing to pay higher fares for
    public transportation.

The private sector

  • 78% agree that the private sector should be more involved in
    infrastructure development.
  • 51% of Riyadh respondents think that changes in elected city officials
    often result in major changes to infrastructure policy.
  • 46% believe that city officials take a short-term view of
    infrastructure planning.
  • 32% state that large-scale transportation projects in Riyadh are
    usually delivered late.

Greener, smarter and better connected

  • 63% regularly use mobile apps to stay current on the status of public
  • 43% of Riyadh respondents believe their city lags behind other city
    authorities when it comes to sustainability.
  • 56% of citizens say they are happy to share their personal data with
    relevant city agencies to help improve infrastructure.

Download the report

Notes to editors

About this research

The Future of Infrastructure: Voice of the People report has been
produced by AECOM in collaboration with Longitude, a world-class leader
in quantitative and qualitative research. The report was compiled in two
ways. First, Longitude conducted an online survey of more than 10,000
people across 10 major global cities including Hong Kong (1031
respondents), Mumbai (1088), Singapore (1109), Sydney (1096), London
(1118), Riyadh (980), Chicago (1014), Los Angeles (1121), New York
(1128), and Toronto (1065). Respondents were not compensated for their
participation and AECOM was not identified as the research sponsor.
Second, the firm conducted qualitative interviews with a range of senior
figures in the global civil infrastructure industry where AECOM was
identified to them as the research sponsor.


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Faye Bastow
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