5 things to know about the $23bn plan to transform Saudi capital Riyadh
Saudi Arabia's King Salman Al Saud 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.
Job creation: The projects King Salman Park, Sports Boulevard, Green Riyadh and Riyadh Art will provide tens of thousands of new jobs, complement the Saudi Vision 2030’s Quality of Life Programme and offer opportunities worth $15bn for the private sector to invest in. Largest city park: 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, 18-hole Royal Golf Course and Riyadh Fountains. Green Riyadh: The project will increase the green cover in the capital with the planting of 7.5 million trees, and help increase the city’s green cover from 1.5 percent of the total area to 9.1 percent by 2030. It will also help reduce average ambient temperature by 2 degrees Celsius. Sports Boulevard: It 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 sq m of new open space across the city, it will also feature a sports pavilion, riding stables and athletics tracks. Riyadh Art: It 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 and an annual festival curated through 10 separate arts programmes.