The Green Riyadh project on Tuesday announced the start of tree-planting in residential neighborhoods — a central component of the program that aims to increase green space in the city.

It is one of four mega projects in Riyadh launched by King Salman upon an initiative of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The program aims to plant trees in more than 120 residential neighborhoods. Designs have been developed based on global environmental standards that take local environments into consideration.

Green Riyadh includes the construction of parks in residential neighborhoods, planting trees on secondary streets, building pavements with trees and pedestrian crossings, planting trees around mosques and schools, planting trees in parking lots, building major parks and planting trees in valleys.

The project will start in the Al-Aziziyah neighborhood on December 29 with the planting of 623,000 trees and bushes in 54 parks, 61 schools, 121 mosques and 78 parking sites. It will also cover 176 kilometers of roads and walkways in the neighborhood.

Green Riyadh contributes to the objectives of the Saudi Vision 2030 reform plan and the Saudi Green Initiative to plant 10 billion trees across Saudi Arabia.

It seeks to plant 7.5 million trees in Riyadh and increase green coverage to 9.1 percent, raising the per capita green area from 1.7 square meters to 28 square meters.

Through the project, the Kingdom will invest $11 billion over the next 10 years and create more than 3,300 new parks and gardens, which aims to improve air quality and reduce the temperature in the city.

It also looks to upgrade the urban environment of Riyadh by planting trees in residential neighborhoods.

To ensure the sustainability of green spaces, the program seeks to create a network to irrigate green areas, and reuse up to 1 million cubic meters of treated water daily.

The Saudi Green Initiative was launched by the crown prince last year with the motto “climate action, energy security and economic prosperity must be treated equally.”

Since the launch, Saudi Arabia has planted 18 million trees within the Kingdom, including 13 million in mangrove areas.

The SGI plans to plant 450 million trees and rehabilitate 8 million hectares of degraded land by 2030, which would cut about 200 million tons of carbon emissions per year. (Arab News)