In 1977, the Saudi government decided to transfer the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from Jeddah to Riyadh. This implied the construction of a new quarter to house the staff of the latter government institution: the first stage comprises 612 housing units and community facilities. The landscaping of this area forms an integral part of this more comprehensive project. The present scheme involves a total of 60,000 plants, 580 palm trees and 2,400 shade trees. The wide central alley is punctuated by a series of plazas, grouped in its middle section. Additional open spaces and paths branch off this central walkway into the more hilly sections of the site. There, narrower and more self-contained spaces have been arranged in a sequence of small, quiet and shaded sitting areas with children's playgrounds. These are connected by shaded footpaths, sometimes open onto changing perspectives so as to allow a variety of vistas. In the western part of the site, the central green spine leads into the housing section and ends in front of the local mosque, which acts as the focal point of this particular area. From there a network of footpaths leads to the various residential blocks.