A panel of prominent International experts from various academic and professional fields convened yesterday to discuss Riyadh’s May$23 billion investment in the recently announced 4 Grand Projects that will transform the city and improve the wellbeing of millions of citizens in the capital city.
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Discussion centered on a number of topics, including sustainable urban development, conservation, socio-economic well-being, art and culture, and the facilitation of a healthy lifestyle for all citizens.
The 4 Wellbeing Projects will greatly improve Saudis’ way of life by providing a greener, healthier environment and by encouraging participation in cultural and sporting life, in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. These four projects are part of a massive development plan for the capital Riyadh, highlighting the Kingdom’s leadership in sustainable urbanization and environmental management.
King Salman Park – one of the world’s largest urban parks with a land area of 13 km2, roughly four times that of Central Park in New York.
The park, in addition to its large green spaces, will include a national theatre, opera house and art academy, and will host entertainment, environmental and cultural events. Green Riyadh – an urban greening project that will reduce CO2 levels and cool the city by up to 2°C.
Green Riyadh will see 7.5 million trees planted in gardens, parks, mosques, schools and around the capital’s governmental and health sectors. Riyadh Art – a citywide gallery that will include 1,000 works of art and interactive installations, placed in residential areas, public parks, transport facilities and on Riyadh’s roads.
Sports Boulevard – the first of its kind in the region, will feature 135 km of multi-purpose track for walking, running, cycling and horse riding.
“What I’ve seen over these two days is very much at the cutting edge and redefines what a city could be. What Riyadh is doing here I haven’t seen anywhere else in the world – where the planning is so integrated and well thought through, and innovative thinking is so evident. Riyadh is setting the standard. I commend these 4 Grand Projects”, John Rossant, Chairman & Founder, New Cities Foundation.
“Every one of these Wellbeing Projects is quite extraordinary. Riyadh will be transformed in ways that you and I can’t fully understand. They will transform this city not just in its infrastructure and facilities, but will transform health, culture and the very way citizens live their lives.” Said Dr. David Griggs, Professor, Sustainable Development Institute, Monash University.
“The scale of these city projects is really impressive. Planting a few trees is nice. Maybe planting a couple of blocks is worthy. But it’s only when you get to the scale of 7.5 million trees and 9% green coverage of the city that you can actually change the climate and cool the city down.” John Englander, Oceanographer & Author, commenting on the 7.5 million trees that will be planted as part of the Riyadh Green Project.
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