In order to shift away from its reliance on the oil sector and becomes a more service-based economy, Saudi Arabia has launched a number of projects following economic diversification as one of the pillars of Vision 2030. Along with that, the Kingdom also aims at improving the lives of its citizens to make the Kingdom one of the most livable places in the world.
In line with Vision 2030, the Kingdom has invested $23 billion in a green project that aims at transforming the capital Riyadh into the next green city. These green projects help cities to achieve sustainability and improve the overall quality of life. In fact, green cities bring many advantages, such as cleaner air, better weather , and water conditions. Moreover, they also bring significant economic benefits by using resources more efficiently.
The ambitious Saudi plan will transform its capital Riyadh into a cutting-edge green city. More than seven million trees will be planted and the project will help to create 70,000 jobs.
Furthermore, it is expected that the project will reduce electricity consumption and healthcare expenses while increasing real estate value and recycled water usage bringing a return of $71 billion by 2030.
The green projects are part of the ‘’Quality life’’ program of the country’s Vision 2030, aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, that aim to create sustainable communities and cities, while fighting the urgent problem of climate change. The plan will be divided into four grand projects, namely King Salman Park, Sports Boulevard, Green Riyadh and Riyadh Art.
With an area of 13.4 square kilometers (four times bigger than New York’s Central Park) the King Salman Park will become the world’s biggest urban park. It is located in the heart of the metropolis and will be efficiently connected with public transportation. The ambitious project will feature residential areas, hotels as well as a Royal Arts Complex. King Salman Park will represent the next stage in the green revolution of the metropolis.
The Sports Boulevard will be a health and wellness destination in the city center, featuring a 135 kilometer-long professional cycling track, riding stables, athletic tracks , and a sports pavilion. The project is going to add 3.5 million square meters of open spaces across the city.
Another one of the four grand projects is Green Riyadh, the massive planting project that will increase the city’s green coverage with 7.5 million new trees. By 2030 the country is aiming to reach 541 square kilometers of green coverage, which goes up from 1.5% to 9.1% - a figure higher than global standards. Moreover, Green Riyadh will help to reduce the average ambient temperature by 2 Celcius.
With over 1,000 artworks by international and local artists as well as an annual art festival, Riyadh Art will contribute to strengthening the cultural and artistic environment of the city. The project will stimulate tourism and recreational activities to transform Riyadh in becoming a meeting point for artists and art enthusiasts from all over the world.
Saudi Arabia has made various efforts towards its goals to become a more open country with a diversified economy. The construction work for the $23 billion green projects is due to start in the second half of 2019.