More than 60 international experts joined senior Saudi government officials at a major two-day symposium to discuss ways to help transform the capital Riyadh into a world-class sustainable city.
The symposium, titled ‘Riyadh: The Sustainable City’ was hosted by The Royal Commission for Riyadh (RCRC) at King Fahad Library, Riyadh last week.
These experts offered advice and suggestions on projects worth $23 billion, that will help transform the Saudi capital into a world-class sustainable city and enhance the lives of its 7 million residents.
Roundtable discussions centered on the 4 Wellbeing Projects – King Salman Park, Green Riyadh, Riyadh Art and Sports Boulevard – and covered key topics such as sustainable urban development, conservation, socio-economic wellbeing, cultural nourishment, and the promotion of a healthier lifestyle for all citizens.
According to the experts, these 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.
They are transformative and are part of a massive development plan for the capital, highlighting the kingdom's leadership in sustainable urbanization and environmental management.
The $23-billion government investment, along with an estimated $15-billion of private sector contribution in the four projects, will help transform the capital and enhance the wellbeing of its 7 million citizens.
Engineer 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," he noted.
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 4 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, said: “The 4 Wellbeing Projects will provide a huge opportunity for local job creation, particularly those jobs for young people and women in Riyadh City.”
Prof Michael Koh, Executive Fellow at the Centre for Livable Cities in Singapore, who was a delegate at the event, stated that the event had been a successful opportunity to share knowledge.
"It has been a wonderful example in global partnership, in making cities sustainable and livable,” he added.-TradeArabia News Service