By Sam Bridge
International experts say $38bn investment in mega wellness projects are set to transform Saudi capital city
Riyadh will become a "phenomenally attractive" city in which to live, to work and to visit under multi-billion plans to transform the Saudi capital, according to an international expert.
A panel of prominent experts from various academic and professional fields made the conclusion at a symposium on Riyadh’s plans to become a world-class sustainable city.
The symposium, hosted by The Royal Commission for Riyadh, centred on four wellbeing projects – King Salman Park, Green Riyadh, Riyadh Art, and Sports Boulevard – and covered sustainable urban development, conservation, socio-economic wellbeing, cultural nourishment, and the promotion of a healthier lifestyle for all citizens.
Dr David Griggs, a professor at the Sustainable Development Institute, Monash University, who led the discussion groups, said: “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.”
“Collectively, these four projects will make Riyadh a phenomenally attractive city in which to live, to work and to visit”, he added.
Maria Vassilakou, former vice-mayor and deputy governor of Vienna, told the symposium: “The four wellbeing projects will provide a huge opportunity for local job creation, particularly those jobs for young people and women in Riyadh City.”
The symposium was told that the projects will greatly improve residents’ 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, with $23 billion being invested by the government along with an estimated $15 billion of private sector investment.
Ibrahim Al-Shayeh, general manager of Strategic Urban Planning at RCRC and chairman of the symposium, said: “Cities are at the forefront of global efforts to stabilize climate heating, while providing a quality of life to growing populations.
"Through events like the Riyadh: The Sustainable City Symposium, and many more to come, our aim is to plan and implement a future for Riyadh that is smart, resilient and sustainable, working in harmony with the environment, while at the same time enhancing the wellbeing of citizens.”For all the latest construction news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.