A Saudi enviornmentalist wants to make Jeddah’s historical district the Kingdom’s first low-cost green zone.
Majeda Abu Ras, a biotechnology teacher at the King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah, is working on the initiative with the cooperation of Jeddah municipality and the Saudi Environmental Society.
Asides from being a staunch environmentalist, Abu Ras is also the deputy chairman of the Saudi Environmental Society and member of the board of directors and regional researchers with NASA to implement scientific and research programs in the Gulf countries and the region.
As part of Jeddah’s efforts to maintain an eco-friendly environment, the municipality recently distributed 42 waste recycling bins and over 126 garbage containers in three different colors to recycle plastics, metals and glass in various parts of the historic district.
The initiative will target more than one million visitors and tourists expected to throng to the 10-day Jeddah Festival, organized to raise awareness on heritage preservation.
Abu Ras, who is involved in the project, claimed the time has come to strengthen environmental concepts inside the city in general, and in the historical district in particular.
Calling on all citizens and residents to play an active role to serve the environment, she revealed plans to establish a comprehensive environmental city in Jeddah. According to her, the historic district had been chosen for its environment and its historical character represented in its buildings, which can be converted to green structures without compromising their historical identity.
“The aim behind establishing a green city is to improve the quality of life, curb pollution and raise environmental awareness among governmental and nongovernmental bodies,” she said.
Green buildings will implement thermal insulation to limit electricity consumption and save energy, which contributes to lowering electricity bills by 50 percent and saves more than SR75 billion.
Green cities adopt a scientific approach to buildings, that maintains energy and protects the environment from thermal emissions, especially since Saudi Arabia is the largest regional producer of electricity and desalinated water, which means it uses large quantities of gas and petrol.
But the main challenge for development, Abu Ras stressed, is the volume of investments and building in cities. Moving toward the use of clean technologies to limit environmental effects while obtaining economic benefits, has become a major purpose in the field of study that links industry and environment.

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Jeddah: Arab News
Wed, 2015-01-21 01:18
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