In delirious Dubai, where almost everything is air conditioned, bike lanes 500-kilometers (around 310-miles) long are slated for completion by 2021. The project aims to encourage exercise in the city, in addition to fostering a culture of compact cities with fewer cars and smoother traffic in the Gulf metropolis. Also, five new metro stations will find homes in Dubai Creek, where they’re expected to cater to 650,000 new metro passengers daily.
Although Dubai’s expansion concept is all about green “compact cities,” Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid has also approved additional road construction and expansion to make way for more cars, thus increasing the city’s carbon footprint. These expansions are expected to improve the city’s overall transportation network. The Dubai-Al Ain Road project, for example, aims to double the road’s capacity, increasing it to 12,000 from 6,000 per hour in both directions.
Not many details have been given about where the bike lanes will be. The road infrastructure projects of which the bike lanes are a part of have been scheduled in the lead-up to Expo 2020, an event that is expected to add 277,000 new jobs to the UAE and pump nearly $40 billion into the economy. The road infrastructure project, which will begin in 2018 with 320 kilometers (around 200 miles) of paved roads, is expected to be completed by 2024, and will include the paving of residential and industrial areas.
The concrete jungle that is Dubai was crowned the most polluted city a couple of years ago. In the World Bank’s annual report in 2015, the Arab city topped even more populous ones like India and China. Ever since, the city has outlined plans to become the world’s smartest city, fighting back pollution with green solutions. In March, the city announced plans for a 1.4 million square-meter (800,000 square-mile) public park, that will comprise 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) of pathways, 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) of jogging track, more than 14 kilometers (8.7 miles) of cycle tracks, and seven kilometers (4.4 miles) of nature trails. The park will also includ55 playgrounds, 45 sports grounds, five major events venues and an area for shops, restaurants and cafes.