Dubai announced the construction of 500km new bicycle lanes and other smart-city initiatives
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, and Ruler of Dubai approved the construction of 500km of new bicycle lanes as part of air pollution mitigation efforts.
The initiative will also include the creation of new walking paths along Dubai Creek, the addition of more tube stations and dedicated bus lanes.
More specifically, the plan includes the construction of five new metro stations, which are expected to accommodate an additional 650,000 passengers per day.
The 500km of bicycle lanes will be crossing the city and are expected to significantly reduce pollution levels.
Along with the upgrading of existing roads, additional bus lanes on external roads will help improve mass transit.
During the past decade, as Dubai has been impressively been built and expanded, it contributed into making the United Arab Emirates the most polluted in the world for 2015.
As Dubai has been struggling with air pollution problems, it has recently launched several plans to tackle the problem.
Last March, it announced its plans to build an impressive 800,000 square-mile public park which will feature eighteen miles of pedestrian pathways, twelve miles of jogging track, nine miles worth of cycling tracks and four miles of nature trails.
The large natural landscape and trees is expected to improve air quality in the area surrounding it, while preserving existing biodiversity and enhancing the area’s urban ecology.
On January 2017, the Emirate announced the construction of Phase 3 of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park which will add 800MW of solar installed capacity and is expected to displace 6.5m metric tons of CO2 per year.
Most of the approved projects are related to Expo 2020- a massive international exposition of innovative ideas, and have a triple aim- namely, to mitigate air pollution, to improve transportation and encourage exercise.
The 500km bicycle lanes will be completed by 2021, starting construction by 2018.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid approved additional transportation projects, which despite their non-eco-friendly aspect, are expected to improve the city transportation.
An example would be the Dubai-Al Ain Road project that aims to raise the capacity of the road from 6,000 vehicles per hour to 12,000, for both directions.