$23bn plan revealed to transform Saudi capital Riyadh

King Salman launches four wellbeing projects - King Salman Park, Sports Boulevard, Green Riyadh and Riyadh Art
$23bn plan revealed to transform Saudi capital Riyadh
Green Riyadh will increase the green cover in the Saudi capital with the planting of 7.5 million trees.
By Sam Bridge
Tue 19 Mar 2019 07:49 PM

Saudi Arabia's King Salman on Tuesday launched four wellbeing projects costing $23 billion for Riyadh, which aims to significantly improve the lives of its citizens and transform the city into one of the world’s most livable cities.

The four wellbeing projects - King Salman Park, Sports Boulevard, Green Riyadh and Riyadh Art – complement the Saudi Vision 2030’s Quality of Life Program, a statement said.

The government will invest $23 billion, with the four projects offering opportunities worth $15 billion for the private sector to invest in the residential, commercial, recreational and wellness areas.

In addition to providing tens of thousands of new jobs, they will also contribute to an integrated approach to wellness, health, sports, culture and the arts, underpinned by a commitment to environmental sustainability, the statement added.

At 13.4 sq km, King Salman Park will be the largest city park in the world. Besides residences and hotels, it will feature a Royal Arts complex, theatres, museums, cinemas, sports venues, water features, restaurants and an 18-hole Royal Golf Course.

The park will also boast several landmark assets, including the Riyadh Fountains and a Vertical Garden.

Green Riyadh will increase the green cover in the Saudi capital with the planting of 7.5 million trees. This will help increase the city’s green cover from 1.5 percent of the total area to 9.1 percent, or approximately 541 sq km, by 2030.

The statement said Green Riyadh will help reduce average ambient temperature by 2 degrees Celsius, and will use more than 1 million cubic metres of treated sewage affluent daily for irrigation, for the sustainability of water resources in the city.

Sports Boulevard will feature a 135km-long cycling track covering the city and the surrounding valleys, the first of its kind in the region.

Adding 3.5 million square metres of new open space across the city, this project will also feature a sports pavilion, riding stables and athletics tracks.

Riyadh Art will be the world's single largest government investment in public art and will establish the city as “a gallery without walls” through an interactive public arts program.

With 1,000 art pieces curated through 10 separate arts programs and an annual arts festival, the project will feature large-scale art works and will have as its centrepiece an iconic installation that will be Riyadh’s 21st century landmark art statement.

Construction for the four wellbeing projects will start in the second half of 2019.

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