Saudi Focus

King Salman Park in Riyadh ... set to be the largest city park in the world.

King Salman Park in Riyadh ... set to be the largest city park in the world.

$23bn well-being plan on cards for capital

April 2019

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz on March 19 launched four well-being projects worth $23 billion in the capital Riyadh mainly aimed at improving the lives of its citizens besides transforming the city into an attractive destination and making it one of the world’s most livable cities.

The projects include King Salman Park, Sports Boulevard, Green Riyadh and Riyadh Art, construction of which will start in the second half of 2019.

These project complement the Saudi Vision 2030’s “Quality of Life” Programme and are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, to create sustainable cities and communities, while driving urgent action against climate change.

They will offer opportunities worth $15 billion for the private sector to invest in the residential, commercial, recreational and wellness areas, said senior government officials.

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.

Spread over a sprawling 13.4-sq-km area, King Salman Park will be a green oasis in an urban setting and will be the largest city park in the world. Besides residences and hotels, it will also feature a Royal Arts Complex, theatres, museums, cinemas, sports venues, water features, restaurants and an 18-hole Royal Golf Course. Omrania, a leading architectural and engineering consultancy practice based in Saudi Arabia, has won an international competition to design King Salman Park.

The park will take shape on the grounds of the old airport in Riyadh and will also boast several landmark assets, including the Riyadh Fountains and a Vertical Garden. As an environmentally sustainable urban development, it will offer opportunities for the international community in arts, entertainment and culture, stated the officials.

One of the world’s largest urban greening projects, Green Riyadh will increase the green cover in the Saudi capital with the plantation of 7.5 million trees. This will help increase the city’s green cover from 1.5 per cent of the total area to 9.1 per cent, or approximately 541 sq km by 2030, said the officials.

An iconic new health and wellness destination in the heart of the city, Sports Boulevard will feature a 135-km-long professional 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, this grand project will also feature a sports pavilion, riding stables and athletics tracks, accommodating a wide variety of sports activities. Sports Boulevard has been designed with full accessibility for all segments of the population.

Riyadh Art is the world’s single largest government investment in public art and will establish the city as “a gallery without walls” through a world-class interactive public arts programme.

With 1,000 art pieces curated through 10 separate arts programmes and an annual arts festival, this grand project will feature large-scale art works that will both fascinate and engage artists and art lovers from across the world, said the senior officials.

 The highlight of Riyadh Art will be an iconic installation that will be Riyadh’s 21st century landmark art statement, to be created by the world’s most innovative, creative and ambitious talent, they added.  

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