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Women are even unveiling with impunity
May 28, 2012 7:14 PM   Subscribe

"The fertile Wadi Hanifah valley running through part of Riyadh was for years a rubbish dump and a public health hazard, but now it's been transformed into a vast park, with lakes that attract cool breezes. It's an oasis so large it's hard to police - making it a place for Saudi citizens to relax, in more senses than one."

More details about the project are here. Plus, a travel writer's blog has much more, especially this detailed story.
posted by vidur (12 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
This was very interesting, thanks. A long time ago I spent some time in Morocco, including the drier southern part, and visited some valleys/oases, including the Draa valley. There were long thin agricultural areas along the river - palmeries, etc. - which the locals called the jardin (garden). They were fields and orchards, but they also had this quasi-public/common good dimension that was very interesting, and people would wander through them, have picnics, and so on, especially by the river. So this kind of reminded me of that, even though this is artificial, and on a larger scale.
posted by carter at 8:20 PM on May 28, 2012


That's a pretty cool project. Reminds me of the Cheonggyecheon Restoration Project in Seoul.
posted by mcmile at 8:22 PM on May 28, 2012


Also reminds me a bit of the Cheonggyecheon project in Seoul.
posted by carter at 8:23 PM on May 28, 2012


Women are even unveiling with impunity

Quick, someone alert the
*scrolls down*
Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice!

This is a pretty cool project.
posted by Mezentian at 8:28 PM on May 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yay for bioremediation. Bonus:the facility looks like a horseshoe crab from the air.
posted by arcticseal at 8:53 PM on May 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's an interesting puzzle about humans: If you have a verdant, scenic, unique or otherwise valuable natural resource, our first instinct seems to be to find the lowest possible use for it. Almost like it's a marker for Progress, capital letter and all. "This used to be an idyllic pond, but as you can see we've filled it with old tires and human waste!"
posted by maxwelton at 9:15 PM on May 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


If you have a verdant, scenic, unique or otherwise valuable natural resource, our first instinct seems to be to find the lowest possible use for it.

Confirmation bias. There are thousands of scenic, unique or otherwise valuable resources which are too far away from settlements to be bothered transporting the tyres and human waste to... but they're not the ones you notice.
posted by pompomtom at 9:20 PM on May 28, 2012


Before Prince Charles Boulevard in Surrey became a through road, there was a big deep pond right at the would be intersection with 96 Avenue. It was full of pond slime and tadpoles.

They filled it in and built a McDonalds there.
posted by Meatbomb at 10:56 PM on May 28, 2012 [1 favorite]




Almost like it's a marker for Progress, capital letter and all. "This used to be an idyllic pond, but as you can see we've filled it with old tires and human waste!"

I think it's more that water accumulates in low points, which causes lush greenery, thus beauty. Trash is also easiest to get rid of in a low-lying area, because it stays there when you drop it.

So: lots of pretty lowlands end up as trash dumps. Lots more ugly ones do, too, but you don't notice those as much.
posted by Malor at 3:56 AM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Goofyy: "Seems the Arabians need to be taught better habits about litter."

That's nothing. I think the Saudis could teach people from Massachusetts some better habits about litter, though.
posted by dunkadunc at 9:10 AM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


They filled it in and built a McDonalds there.

Joni Mitchell had something to say about that.
posted by arcticseal at 3:58 PM on May 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


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