Riyadh Urban Observatory Plays a Key Role: HRH Prince Faisal Bin Bandar

Feb 27, 2018

Riyadh, 27 February, 2018: HRH Prince Faisal Bin Bandar, Chairman of the High Commission for the ‎Development of ‎Arriyadh ‎(HCDR) and ‎Chairman of the Riyadh Urban Observatory Council, inaugurated the Second Forum of Riyadh Urban Observatory. The Forum was attended by officials from most of the sectors in the city.

In his inaugural opening speech, HRH Prince Faisal Bin Bandar, said that Riyadh, like all other Saudi cities, witnessed a comprehensive urban revolution under the wise leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman Ibn Abdulaziz and HRH Crown Prince. He added that Riyadh urban observatory plays a key role in guiding this comprehensive development in the framework of the Metropolitan Development Strategy for the Arriyadh Region (MEDSTAR) as well as the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030.

Dr. Ashok Nigam, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative for Saudi Arabia, delivered speech in which he commended the achievement of Riyadh Urban Observatory for producing an advanced set of urban indicators as an important means of showing how Riyadh city is achieving sustainable development.  He further elaborated that sustainable development is a key goal of Saudi Vision 2030, of the United Nations Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  

The forum featured two sessions: The first was entitled “Objectives and standards of transformation towards smart observatories” and was chaired by H.E Dr. Fahad Bin Sulaiman Al Tekhaifi, President of General Authority for Statistics (GaStat). During this session, Dr. Nathalie Milbach-Bouché, Regional Cluster Team Leader of the UNDP Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development Team, presented a paper on the "UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development Goals".

Dr. Balachandra Patil from the Department of Management Studies and Centre for Sustainable Technologies - Indian Institute of Science - presented a paper on "Building Benchmarks for Urban Indicators".

Dr. Gora Mboup, founder and CEO of the New York-based Global Observatory linking Research to Action (GORA) and former Chief of United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat)’s Global Urban Observatory, presented a paper titled "Transforming urban observatories into smart observatories".

The second session was entitled "Urban Observatories" and chaired by Dr. Abdullah Al-Subail, Deputy Director General of the Arab Urban Development Institute. The session's papers included a presentation on the “National Urban Observatory” by Dr. Mohammed Bin Mousa Al-Faridi, Director of the National Urban Observatory at the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs.

Abdulrahman Al-Wahaibi, from the Riyadh Urban Observatory, presented a paper that explored key findings of a life satisfaction survey to assess life quality in Riyadh city, which was conducted by the High Commission for the Development of Arriyadh.

According to Al-Wahaibi, the study revealed that 76% of the surveyed sample said that life quality in Riyadh city today is better than it was ‎five years ago, while ‎88% of the surveyed sample ‎had better expectations for the next five years, especially ‎after the launch of the Saudi Vision 2030. ‎

During the second session, Eng. Abdulrahman bin Abdullah Al-Sultan, Executive Director of Riyadh Urban Observatory, made a presentation on the results of the "urban indicators of the city of Riyadh in 1438H", which were approved by the HCDR at its first meeting of 1439H (2018).

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