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Saudi Arabia announces unified design code within Sports Boulevard project in Riyadh

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A unified design code has been launched to be implemented on the Prince Mohammed bin Salman Road as part of the Sports Boulevard project, a statement to the press said on Wednesday.

The decision to design and implement an “Urban Design Code” was reportedly made by the directors of the Sports Boulevard Foundation, chaired by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

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The new guidelines are expected to modernize the existing design without compromising on the local architectural identity, and regulate new construction and development.

A graphic breakdown shows the changes to be brought about by the new regulation regarding unified design in Riyadh's Sports Boulevard on Prince Mohammed bin Salman Road. (Supplied)
A graphic breakdown shows the changes to be brought about by the new regulation regarding unified design in Riyadh's Sports Boulevard on Prince Mohammed bin Salman Road. (Supplied)

It will “allow the architect to choose innovative elements, inspired and imitated by the past with new design templates,” according to the statement.

For residents, it will mean diverse and new housing styles that will achieve key sustainability and energy goals.

Under the regulations, factors including architectural design quality, urban planning regulations, building regulations, parking regulations, environmental regulations, as well as land use and shop signs, and the unification of urban structures will be according to a set standard.

“The aim of the Design Code is to provide regulation standards for engineering design and is a reference guide for all the current and potential commercial and residential property owners, developers, and investors, contributing to a design pattern that will harmonize the paths of Sports Boulevard for pedestrians, cyclists, and horse riders, forming a modern and sustainable environment for Riyadh residents and visitors,” the statement said.

The Sports Boulevard project is one of Riyadh’s mega projects launched by the Crown Prince in March 2019.

The project will be home to the world’s longest linear park that extends as far as 135 kilometers on Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Road connecting Wadi Hanifah in the West with Wadi Al Sulai in the East through a grid of green pathways for pedestrians, cyclists, and horse-riders.

The project will include 4.4 million square meters of greenery and open spaces, and up to 50 multidisciplinary sports facilities.

Existing buildings are not subject to the regulations or requirements of the Urban Design Code, the authorities clarified in an online FAQ. It added that “in the event of new developments within the scope of the code, or any new requests related to refurbishment or modification, they shall be subject to the requirements of the Urban Design Code.”

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