In the field of urban growth, Riyadh city represents a unique model for the emergence of a major global city in about half a century, a period that does not extend - in the literature of cities emergence - for all the unprecedented urban achievement that Riyadh achieved during it.
The first emergence of Riyadh began about three centuries ago, on a part of the site of the ancient city of Hajar, which for tens of centuries remained the base of Al-Yamama region and a center for the confluence of the trade convoys’ routes that roam the island between its north, south, east and west. Its location is characterized by many valleys, wells with abundant water, palm trees, and crops and fruits.
Riyadh has arisen in this distinguished location as a small village, surrounded by other villages on the site of the vanished city of Hajar, and surrounded by a vast desert on the plateau of Najd, and since that time and until half a century ago, the city’s growth continued at natural rates, so its area expanded during that period from less than one square kilometer, inhabited by less than ten thousand people, to about eight square kilometers in which about sixty thousand residents reside. At the end of that period, and during the last decade of King Abdulaziz’s rule, may God have mercy upon him, Riyadh witnessed the emergence of a number of important factors, the most important of them are :
(stages of thethe evolution of the city of Riyadh in 1353 AH to 1421 AH)
- Starting exporting oil from the Kingdom, and getting benefit from its revenues in reconstruction and development.
- Implementation of a general plan for the settlement of Bedouins.
- Entering electricity into the city.
- Inauguration of the Riyadh Dammam Railway to connect the capital with the eastern region.
- Inauguration of the old airport.
- The opening of ministries and other central government agencies in 1375 AH (1955 AD).
During the last quarter of the last century, the urban development in the city of Riyadh has begun to take a new turn. The rapid construction movement has taken place throughout the city and its surrounding areas in an amazing way, establishing a large number of new neighborhoods, accompanied by huge plans to establish various municipal projects of roads, bridges, modern intersections, lighting, vehicle and pedestrian tunnels, multi-floors parking lots, gardens, and parks, children’s playgrounds, fountains and aesthetic forms, public markets and commercial centers, health slaughterhouses, and other modern equipment and facilities, in addition to the educational, health and social services facilities as well as the Communication and transportation services of all kinds.
In light of the Kingdom’s vision for 2030, Riyadh city has headed towards new horizons after H.R.H. Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, may God protect him, announced the features of Riyadh’s ambitious strategy, which looks forward to build on the gains achieved during the past decades, to improve the quality of life in the city, diversify its sources of income through the development of its economy and attract more local and foreign investments, in the fields of industry, innovation, education, services, tourism, entertainment, and other sectors.
Since the launch of the 2030 Vision, Riyadh city has witnessed the launch of many qualitative projects, foremost of which is "King Salman Park", which will be the largest city park in the world with an area of more than 16 km2, and will contain a variety of facilities and buildings such as the Royal Art Complex, the National Theater, visitor center, art academies, and museums, as well as the “Green Riyadh” project, which aims to plant 7,500,000 trees across the city, as well as the “Riyadh Art” project, which includes more than 1,000 original and public artworks, designed by local and international artists, which will be distributed throughout the capital, in addition to the 135 km "Sports Path" project, which will contribute to encouraging residents to follow healthy patterns of movement, and motivate the practice of various sports, especially walking, cycling and riding horses, in an environment full of artistic, cultural, recreational and environmental activities and events.