Dreaming of a greener Riyadh? Your wish is not too far off from reality. Under the Crown Prince's Vision 2030, the Green Riyadh project is a full-fledged program to increase the per capita share of green space in the Saudi capital.
This sustainable plan aims to plant 7.5 million trees and set up a recycled irrigation network to water the trees.
Famous roadways like the King Salman, Makkah, and King Khalid road will soon be adorned with all-things green.
According to Arab News, Native tree species like Ziziphus spina-christi, Acacia gerrardii and Prosopis cineraria will be used to give the city a green facelift. "Most of the tree species used in the planting of the Green Riyadh project are from a well-developed local environment with low agricultural service and care,” Dr. Fahad Al-Mana, a professor of Ornamental Plants, Gardens and Green Areas at King Saud University, told Arab News.
The species can withstand the harshest desert conditions, which keeps them safe from drought or sand storms.
“In some locations, they have moved large 3-year-old local trees that were taken care of in plant nurseries to new locations where they are growing successfully,” Al-Mana said.
Expanding the green cover of Riyadh, this ambitious project will decrease the average ambient temperature by 2 degrees. Hence, trees will improve the air quality and push people to engage in a more outdoorsy lifestyle.
"The aim of planting trees in the streets is to provide shade and moderate the temperature, especially in summer, which contributes to the purification of air and reduces environmental pollution by protecting the city from sand storms, winds and dust. In addition, it gives an aesthetic view and the element of nature enters the city and nearby structures,” added Al-Mana.
Green space occupation will increase from 5 to 9 percent by 2030, according to the Saudi academic. Al-Mana said the Green Riyadh project will also reduce carbon dioxide and impurity levels in the city.