“A Canadian planning and architecture firm has won an Aga Khan Award for Architecture for the sweeping transformation of a once-polluted Saudi waterway into a system of parks in the heart of the desert, using a system of bio-remediation. The 120-kilometre-long Wadi Hanifah, an oasis that cuts through the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh and the surrounding desert, was an odorous receptacle for the city’s refuse, clogged with algae, dead animals and weeds “twice the height of a man,” said George Stockton, president of Moriyama & Teshima planners. In 2001, his firm began planning its transformation into a parkland.”
Read a Saudi woman’s blog about the experience of walking to the Wadi from Riyadh.
Photo above from Arab News. The photos directly below by Peter (Petronet on Flickr) show wadis in the Wadi Hanifah area, further from Riyadh. Peter writes that the drier shots “are from a much more remote part of the wadi where we went one time with a walking group. The section of Wadi Hanifah which has been renovated is at least 5km long and is close to the modern centre of Riyadh, and only 5km down from the old ruined city of Diriyah (the original city and power-base of the Al Saud family). I took a few photos in this area back in May – one week after some heavy rain. Rain is extremely irregular in Riyadh and so a wadi such as this is normally a dry water-course.”
Photos at bottom from the blog mentioned above. It is surprisingly difficult to find good photos of the Wadi Hanifah. If you have photos you’d like to see here, please contact me.