“A Day in Riyadh” at The United Nations: Planning for People Investment, Sustainable Growth and Livability

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 27, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — On the outside, cities are built from brick, mortar, glass and cement, but the spirit and identity of a city can only come from the people who live in it, and the energy they expend to animate day to day life. In planning for Riyadh, all consideration was given to enabling residents and facilitating activities that bring life to the city’s urban landscape?
The panelists onstage for the Planning for People workshop. From L to R: Dr. Ahmad Alsaif, Former Deputy Minister of Higher Education; Dr. Faisal Al Mubarak, Provost and Chief Academic Officer, King Faisal University; Yamina Djacta, Director at UN-Habitat; Dr. Anas Alfaris, Co-Director of the Center for Complex Engineering Systems at KACST and MIT; Lyndsay Neilson, Managing Director at Neilson Associates
The panelists onstage for the Planning for People workshop. From L to R: Dr. Ahmad Alsaif, Former Deputy Minister of Higher Education; Dr. Faisal Al Mubarak, Provost and Chief Academic Officer, King Faisal University; Yamina Djacta, Director at UN-Habitat; Dr. Anas Alfaris, Co-Director of the Center for Complex Engineering Systems at KACST and MIT; Lyndsay Neilson, Managing Director at Neilson Associates

A Day in Riyadh, a series of workshops that features an interactive display depicting Riyadh’s past, present and future that is underway at the United Nations, began Tuesday with a workshop presenting the broad outline of the vision for the city the and plans to enact it, which encompasses a regulatory, structural and a planning framework.

“The Future Saudi Cities Program is truly transformative and is considered a qualitative leap in the urban planning process in the Kingdom that is expected to achieve positive outcomes for the cities of Saudi Arabia,” Yamina Djacta the director for UN-Habitat said. The Future Saudi Cities Program was developed in cooperation between the UN and KSA to achieve sustainable urbanization.

Lyndsay Neilson, a longtime advisor to the Arriyadh Development Authority, told the workshop that Riyadh is becoming a center for new forms of investment and the private sector engagement. “We now have new investment opportunities because of our ambitious public transportation projects. Our focus first and foremost is on the citizens and ensuring livability in accordance with Vision 2030. We are at an exciting time in our long term planning as we begin the next phase of strategic growth in Riyadh.” Neilson is also Secretary of the Department of Environment and Sustainability, State of Victoria in Australia.

Dr. Ahmad Alsaif, Saudi Arabia’s former Deputy Minister of Education, was the governor of Riyadh for fifty years and took in the lead in establishing the Arriyadh Development Authority. Riyadh is a city that prioritizes sustainability, urban growth, the environment, he said, and a city that manages growth for its people. Under the leadership of King Salman, ADA has been able to plan for the future of the city and provide the necessary services and facilities for its residents.

“In the 1950s, Riyadh was a sleepy hamlet of around 100 thousand inhabitants. Today it is a city of over 6.5 million people. Progress in improving the national economy, municipal organizations, and technology are factors that influenced Riyadh’s urbanization,” said Dr. Faisal Al Mubarak, Provost for Education Affairs and Academic President, Al Faisal University, and a Board Member of King Adbullah Economic City. He said, “The main tasks of ADA are to oversee urban and strategic planning of the city and to achieve the attainment of sustainability in planning and building a beautiful and functional city of the future.”

On Wednesday, A Day in Riyadh continues by focusing on environmental protection and improvement, energy sustainability; and what life in Riyadh aims to be.