Updating Mecca to Handle the Hajj

Millions of religious pilgrims travel to Mecca in Saudi Arabia every year for the Hajj. Officials there have been updating the city to better handle the crowds.

NPR talks with the Guardian's religious affairs correspondent about the civic projects underway and already completed in the city.

"Riazat Butt: Well, they've actually completed a mass transit system. And that will shuttle people between these key locations. And the idea is to take 72,000 people an hour in each direction to relieve some of the congestion on the road, because you've got two and a half, maybe three million people. There's no concept of personal space. There's no concept of privacy. You probably won't eat properly either or sleep properly.

As for the Saudi government, you're right. They are doing what they can to modernize the Hajj. The mass transit system is one of them. They're also building a 440 kilometer rail link between the two holy cities, Mecca and Medina. Now, currently, that journey takes four or five hours. They want to reduce it to 30 minutes."

Full Story: Saudi Arabia Modernizes Mecca For Muslim Pilgrims

Comments

Build Your Own Paper Block City

Urban Fold is an all-inclusive kit that allows anyone to build the city of their dreams with a few simple folds.
$24.95
building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
$25
Woman wearing city map tote bag

City Shoulder Totes - New Cities Added!

Durable CityFabric© shoulder tote bags available from 9 different cities.
$22.00
Book cover of Where Things Are from Near to Far

Where Things Are From Near to Far

This engaging children's book about planning illustrates that "every building has its place."
$19.95