by Stephen Timm
“The happiness and fulfillment of citizens and residents is important to us. This can only be achieved through promoting physical, psychological and social well-being. At the heart of our vision is a society in which all enjoy a good quality of life, a healthy lifestyle and an attractive living environment.”
Riyadh Art, one of four mega-projects Vision 2030 will transform the capital into an open-air art gallery, mixing traditional and modern art. The project is expected to attract and encourage investment in new economy sectors such as nurseries, horticulture, forestation, landscaping and irrigation.
Thousands of monuments and art pieces will be commissioned from local and international artists and placed around the city. Part of the criteria of creating a better quality of life is by providing the city with infrastructure to encourage citizens to walk, and in doing so, offering an experience of one the most celebrated forms of expression.
A one of a kind open air art gallery will showcase famous artists’ works in Riyadh main intersections; tourists will be able to visit art exhibitions across the city’s public areas and gardens curated with monuments and sculptures. The Riyadh Landmark XXL is scheduled to be a unique project highlighting Saudi creative expression of art. The project has 11 programs in total.
Global ambitions, local taste
The Riyadh Art project also seeks to pay homage to the city’s roots. Gateways decorated with creative designs will be installed at the entrances to Riyadh city. This is important for proud Riyadh natives, as there were five historic gates in the walls of Old Riyadh at the northern, southern, eastern, western, and southwestern entrances to the city.
Construction of King Salman Park alone will create around 59,000 jobs. Companies from all over the world will be invited to bid. The project has been designed to conform with sustainability standards in both water resources and power generation. Water irrigation requirements for the projects will come from the recycling of used water (grey water). A new wastewater treatment plant and network will increase water reclamation efforts for urban use from 90,000m3 to over 1,000,000m3 per day.
The project’s final program will be the Nour Festival, an annual event that will showcase interactive art based on illumination; ‘nour’ is Arabic for light.
By 2020, Riyadh will be a top global destination for all types of artists to exchange and display their work. Saudi Arabia’s commitment to diversify from its oil-dependent economy is underway, with an environmentally sustainable plan that is sure to surprise many.
Disclaimer: This content does not necessarily represent the views of IWB.