Home Air Quality Saudi Arabia Demonstrates Commitment to Green Future with $23 Billion Riyadh Project

Saudi Arabia Demonstrates Commitment to Green Future with $23 Billion Riyadh Project

Glenn Hasek

You do not have to look far to find examples of human rights violations by Saudi Arabia. Last year’s killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul is a recent prominent example. Saudi Arabia’s intervention in the war in Yemen is another example. According to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, 56,000 civilians and combatants were killed in Yemen between January 2016 and October 2018. Terrible for such a small nation.

It is certainly challenging to lift Saudi Arabia up as a country to emulate but some recent news out of the country on March 19 is worth a positive mention. According to the Saudi government, it has launched an ambitious $23 billion project to create vast open green areas in its capital, Riyadh, including the world’s biggest city park. The park will be four times the size of New York’s Central Park. Measuring 13.4 square kilometers, King Salman Park will include residential areas, hotels, and will also feature a Royal Arts Complex, theaters, museums, cinemas, sports venues, water features, restaurants and an 18-hole Royal Golf Course.

Construction will begin this year on four projects—King Salman Park, Sports Boulevard, Green Riyadh and Riyadh Art—which will create sustainable communities, drive action against climate change and provide up to 70,000 new jobs. The aim of the projects is to “significantly improve the lives of its citizens, transform the city into an attractive destination and make it one of the world’s most livable cities,” the government said. The projects are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

In addition to creating tens of thousands of new jobs, the project will also help boost efforts to improve the city’s health and wellbeing with a commitment to wellness, health, sports, culture and the arts, underpinned by a commitment to environmental sustainability.

More Than 7 Million Trees Will be Planted

Incredibly, Green Riyadh will increase Riyadh’s green cover with 7.5 million new trees. The massive planting project will help increase the city’s green cover from 1.5 percent of Riyadh’s total area to 9.1 percent by 2030. Green space availability will increase to 28 square meters per capita from the current 1.7 square meters per capita, compared to the World Health Organization’s recommendation of 9 square meters per capita.

An example of the power of tree planting, Green Riyadh will reduce average ambient temperature by 2 degrees Celsius while cleaning the air and reducing carbon dioxide levels. Green Riyadh will use more than 1 million cubic meters of treated sewage daily for irrigation, for the sustainability of water resources in the city. The biodiversity of Riyadh will be significantly improved.

The new areas will be designed to encourage walking and bicycling. Sports Boulevard will feature a 135-kilometer-long professional cycling track covering the city and the surrounding valleys, the first of its kind in the region. Riyadh Art will be the world’s largest government investment in public art and will establish the city as “a gallery without walls” through a world-class interactive public arts program.

The $23 billion project is expected to have a return of $71 billion by 2030 through a reduction of healthcare expenses and electricity consumption, by increasing real estate value, and by using recycled water for irrigation. Construction work is due to start in the second half of 2019.

Green Lodging News Adds Vapur to Product & Service Directory

Green Lodging News has added Vapur to the “Water Bottles/Reusable” section of its Green Product & Service Directory. Vapur started in 2009 with a mission to reduce the use of single use plastic bottles by creating the most portable reusable water bottle on the planet. Ten years later the mission is still the same and Vapur has won the hearts of millions with dozens of styles of collapsible, reusable BPA-FREE and freezable anti-bottles. Vapur has partnered with Elkay to launch the Vapur Refill Program, offering discounts on bottles and refill stations to national parks, hotels, schools and more. To learn more about the Vapur Anti-Bottles or Refill Stations, contact refill@vapur.us or call (805) 244-9304. For more details visit https://www.vapur.us/hydration-station-program.html.

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Who is Your Sustainability Champion?

Green Lodging News is always looking to profile sustainability champions in our Personnel Profile section. If you would like to nominate someone for this section of Green Lodging News, contact me at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

Looking for Guest Columnists

Every two weeks Green Lodging News posts a new guest column on its website. (Click here for examples.) The guest column also appears in the weekly e-newsletter. Green Lodging News is currently in need of industry experts to contribute occasional guest columns. Experts may include consultants, architects, designers, suppliers and those who own or operate green lodging establishments. Columns may be articles that take a stance on a particular subject or be strictly educational in nature. Columnists benefit by having their photo included along with a one paragraph description of their company. Interested in writing a column? Contact Glenn Hasek, publisher and editor, at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

An All-New Advertising Opportunity!

Green Lodging News, lodging’s leading environmental news source, announces the launch of Green Suppliers Spotlight, an e-blast to almost 20,000 subscribers that features the lodging industry’s leading green products and services. The e-blast features multiple vendors—unlike the current Green Supplier Spotlight that allows one supplier to “own” the Green Lodging News subscriber list for one e-blast. (Click here for a Green Suppliers Spotlight sample.)

Green Suppliers Spotlight is published weekly on Thursdays to general managers, owners, management companies, directors of sustainability, directors of engineering, facilities managers and many others who are either in purchasing positions or who influence purchasing decisions. Suppliers of green products and services throughout North America and beyond are invited to participate in the e-blast. (Minimum two suppliers per e-blast.) Green Suppliers Spotlight was created to give vendors an opportunity to reach a high number of industry purchasers at a very low cost—as low as $200 per e-mail. (Click here for rate sheet.)

Those advertising in Green Suppliers Spotlight can include up to 100 words, one image, contact information and multiple links to their website in their ad. At the end of each month, a report will be sent to each supplier with information on delivered e-mails, opens and click-throughs. The Green Suppliers Spotlight e-blast will also be available in the Suppliers Spotlight Archive section of the Green Lodging News website.

Planning Advertising for 2019?

Green Lodging News is accepting reservations for advertising spots for 2019. Many excellent spots are available on our new website and in the weekly e-mail newsletter. Many Green Supplier Spotlight dates are also available. Interested in receiving a 2019 media kit? Be sure to contact me as soon as possible at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at editor@greenlodgingnews.com. A media kit can also be accessed by clicking here. Thank you to all those companies that consistently support Green Lodging News.

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As always, I can be reached at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.