ECA addresses ‘concept of sustainability in smart cities’


RIYADH — Under the aegis of the Minister of Housing Majed A. Al-Hogail, the Economic Cities Authority (ECA) participated in the Sustainable Housing Forum recently at the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center here. The forum was attended by Prince Abdulaziz Bin Salman, state minister for energy affairs and chairman of the executive committee of the Saudi Energy Efficiency Center, Essam H. Al Mubarak, governor of the Real Estate General Authority, and a number of esteemed persons and officials. The forum, which aims to review the best global sustainability practices and their proximity to the viewpoints of the local market, also witnessed the participation of global experts, decision makers and local market specialists.

Representing ECA, Eng. Ahmad Al-Sharif, director of municipalities and urban planning, delivered a presentation titled ‘Towards Sustainable Modern Cities’, addressing the PPP-based business model applied in the economic cities and the responsibility of ECA on the one hand and the master developers on the other hand. The presentation aimed at contributing to the achievement of sustainable development and the localization of the national capital by attracting quality investments that are in line with the objectives and programs of Vision 2030 in terms of economic diversification and activation of the role of the private sector.

Al-Sharif addressed the sustainability applications of building cities, neighborhoods, infrastructure and housing throughout the development lifecycle at the strategic and operational levels. “ECA contributes to social development in the Kingdom by providing a favorable living environment that guarantees residents, visitors and workers of the economic cities a unique quality of life. This is in addition to recognizing the environmental, economic and societal gains, as well as creating the right balance to guarantee long-run continuity as an integrated, active system.”

“In this context, ECA, in partnership with the private sector, is keen on applying sustainability practices starting from the legislation stage until the operation stage, as well as receiving feedback and suggestions for reviews and improvements in order to retain the benefits and offer sustainable, high quality and highly efficient real estate services and products for the housing sector within the economic cities for this generation and those in the future.”

On the sidelines of the forum, ECA, represented by its Director General of Real Estate, Municipality & Urban Planning Eng. Abdulaziz M. Almohimeed, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Saudi Real Estate Institute, represented by its Managing Director Eng. Fawzi S. Al-Oyouni. The signing comes within the context of both parties’ interest in pursuing a strategic cooperation with the objective to achieve integration and compatibility between training programs and the business needs inside economic cities; thereby creating an attractive real estate environment.

The MoU also aims to qualify national talents, promote job opportunities, and develop real estate practices, in addition to offering suitable programs that enable talents to manage real estate properties and appraisals in line with the demands and developments of the real estate market. — SG