Dubai Marina and cityscape. (photo via JandaliPhoto / iStock / Getty Images Plus)
Proposed plans for a new megaproject have been revealed, one which could reshape Dubai’s future by transforming the City of Gold into a world-class, vastly sustainable wellness and eco-friendly destination.
The emirate is considering an ambitious proposal submitted by Dubai-based development firm URB, a global leader in developing sustainable cities, and the centerpiece of its concept is THE LOOP—an indoor, climate-controlled and uniquely sustainable “urban highway” that’s over 93 kilometers (58 miles) long.
The gargantuan framework is designed to wrap around the city, providing people with an automobile-free “green corridor”, filled with trees and abundant vegetation, which would make enable walking and cycling to become the primary transportation method for around 80 percent of daily commuters.
Safe, pollution-free and accessible year-round to the city’s three million residents, as well as visitors, THE LOOP would be 100 percent powered by renewable energy from kinetic sources and landscaped plants would be irrigated entirely using recycled water.
According to the project website, the sprawling structure and mixed-use spaces within would represent the “smartest” urban mobility infrastructure anywhere in the world, promoting healthy and active means of transport, like cycling, walking and running. Actually, if built, it would be the only one of its kind anywhere on the globe.
“The project aims to make Dubai the most connected city on Earth by foot or bike,” URB’s CEO Baharash Bagherian, told CNN. Plans for THE LOOP are also in alignment with Dubai’s goal to become a “20-minute city”, meaning that residents can get to any destination in the city and access daily essentials by foot or bicycle within just 20 minutes. This ambition is one element the emirate’s 2040 urban masterplan, an initiative that would see Dubai become the “most liveable city” on the planet by the year 2040.
URB believes that, “providing better connectivity, resilient infrastructures & shared facilities for neighborhoods is a key component” in creating a higher quality of life for city-dwellers, and that sharing facilities and amenities among neighborhoods promotes, “social, environmental, and economic sustainability.”
“Our aim is to re-engineer the future mobility infrastructure in Dubai to become more than sustainable transport systems,” Bagherian wrote on the website. “To think of such infrastructures as much as spaces and utilities for people, where various leisure & community services can also be provided. These types of infrastructures should be an enjoyable mode of sustainable transport, no matter the weather conditions.“
“The whole world is moving towards a greener economy,” added Bagherian. “The strongest economies are going to be the ones who are able to transition towards sustainability at the earliest possible opportunity with projects like this.” If approved, the project would be funded by investors from the private sector and could reach completion by 2040.
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