Home » Placing nature at the heart of our development

Placing nature at the heart of our development

by Madaline Dunn

For millennia, we have lived in harmony with our natural environment. Nature has given us all we need, be it food, shelter, and a sense of well-being. Over the past hundred years, this relationship has changed. The question that we must ask ourselves is, how do we want to live? Is our current approach to how we design and build the places we live in best for our wellbeing?

This time of the year we mark Saudi Environment Week, a national occasion introduced by our leadership with the aim of raising environmental awareness, promoting environmental sustainability, preserving natural resources, and reducing pollution.

As a person who cares deeply for our natural environment, I want to start a dialogue on both the importance of putting nature at the heart of our development and how we can do this.

Let’s begin with the facts. According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, developed areas constitute three percent of the world’s surface. These built-up regions account for over 37 percent of carbon emissions. The UN estimates that over half of the world’s population lives in these areas, and they consume half of the world’s resources. Cities are set to continue their growth, welcoming 2.5 billion new residents by 2050, or 68 percent of the world’s population.

While the growth of our cities may be inevitable, how we develop them needs to change. The more we learn about ecology and the environment, the more we understand its importance to us. Nature provides us with the food we eat and the air we breathe. Nature is more than this. Research shows that being in nature makes us feel better emotionally, contributing to our physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure and stress. In essence, there is no better medicine than nature.

At ROSHN, as part of our commitment to Saudi Vision 2030 and the Saudi Green Initiative, we consider the environment in everything we do. Our communities are built around nature, with designs that incorporate green spaces. We minimize carbon emissions by promoting electric transportation, and our ‘Living Streets’ concept provides residents and visitors with green spaces where they can walk and exercise in the vicinity of their homes, in fresh air and surrounded by greenery.

Our efforts to build with nature in mind are clear to anyone who has visited our communities. In every community we prioritize green and open spaces. In these areas, we are planting tens of thousands of trees throughout our communities, including at ROSHN Front and SEDRA community in Riyadh. Our approach to recycling, including using different bins for dry recyclables, for food and for general waste, aims to reduce our waste footprint and increase composting for our greenery.

Going beyond our communities, we also contributed to the wider nation through ROSHN Green Initiative powered by our YUHYEEK Social Responsibility program. In which, we launched 93 green initiatives around the kingdom contributing to the planting of 25,000 mangrove trees in national reserves, +33,000 seedlings distributed to students in schools, +6,000 trees planted across schools, parks, and public spaces.

These visible changes are being mirrored by how we are using data to improve and optimize resource management for our communities. Using technology and nudging people to think about how they use water and electricity leads to a win-win for all; we reduce both our carbon footprint and our utility bills.

This is just a sample of how we are working to build beautiful communities where nature can thrive, and how we can use nature to improve everyone’s quality of life. This Saudi Environment Week I urge the wider industry to follow this direction and put nature at the heart of our development.

By Ghada AlRumayan, Group Chief Marketing Officer and Group Chief Communications Officer, ROSHN Group.

You may also like  | About Us | Careers | Privacy & Policy

 © 2024 ESG Mena