Dubai races ahead with innovative, exciting projects and recently the administration announced its plan for constructing a ninety-three-kilometer climate-controlled highway called ‘THE LOOP’. The new highway will be built to connect three million residents through a healthy mode of transport that has access to all the main services and locations by cycling or walking in a matter of minutes.
THE LOOP is part of a larger sustainability strategy for Dubai
The innovative highway plan is designed and headed by URB, a sustainable development company and a global leader in sustainable tech. The CEO of URB, Baharash Bagherian said that the new project will be built to promote the entrepreneurial spirit in Dubai’s urban mobility.
This entrepreneurial spirit will be realized through ‘THE LOOP’ as it will make Dubai the most connected city through walking or cycling. This will be the future of sustainable transport systems and they will have varied aspects of leisure, community services, and commutation. The favorable weather condition is another USP of this new mode of urban mobility infrastructure which will enable comfortable movement through the city space by maintaining a sustainable system.
The whole world is moving towards a more sustainable model of city development and Dubai is setting a new example by creating the world’s first cycling and walking infrastructure with smart climate control.
The project is currently at its R&D stage and URB is planning to incorporate various sustainability features and services that will be a pioneering initiative in the urban mobility sector.
The project draws its inspiration from the Dubai administration’s efforts to make the emirate a 20-minute city where the residents can get access to necessary services like daily needs in a short span of 20 minutes via bicycle or by foot.
The climate inside ‘THE LOOP’ will be controlled throughout the year so that it stays pleasant for people who are walking or cycling inside it. One of the main goals that will be accomplished through ‘THE LOOP’ is that Dubai’s eighty percent of residents will hopefully shift to cycling and walking as their primary mode of transport by 2040. This will be a huge boost to the sustainability efforts of the city and will also be a model for the whole world to follow.
Some of the main features of THE LOOP as envisioned by the Dubai administration and URB are:
- A long sustainable smart highway of ninety-three kilometers.
- THE LOOP will have a complete carbon-free zero-emission transportation system.
- It will be directed at promoting the health and well-being of the residents.
- It will use kinetic power to create renewable energy that can sustain the operations inside THE LOOP.
- THE LOOP would be using 100 percent recycled water for irrigation.
- IT will also set up huge vertical farms that will aid in sustainable food security models.
- There will be additional services and amenities for the residents inside THE LOOP.
The 20-minute city plan was envisioned under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai under the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan. The Dubai Media Office said that according to the Master Plan, the key urban spaces like alleyways, spaces under bridges, and street squares will be developed using sustainable methods to make them relaxing and attractive spots for residents and tourists.
In 2022, the second phase of the plan was greenlit by Sheikh Mohammad and this phase would include multiple projects spread out under ten key initiatives. This includes the Urban farming plan, development of urban centers, Dubai real estate strategy, 20-minute city plan, Pedestrian Network Master Plan, and Preserving Urban Heritage plan.
The Urban farming plan is considered to be an innovative strategy under which ideal locations would be identified to promote high-yield agriculture and farming. This would guarantee food security for the residents of Dubai.
The Dubai Urban Master Plan 2040 was approved as part of making Dubai the best city destination to live in by 2040. The plan includes six levels of urbanization that will be completed using a graded structure where urban centers will be identified according to their uses and demographic densities. Then these spaces will be developed accordingly so that they can perform their functional and residential roles with maximum efficiency.
By following such a method, it would be possible to develop a holistic infrastructure of road and other transportation systems coupled with sustainable energy and public services like schools, service centers, hospitals, recreational facilities, etc.
The major advantage of such a development model is that all the emirate districts would be interconnected using a sustainable urban mobility plan. THE LOOP is one such chapter in the long roadmap of sustainable infrastructures that will be built across Dubai and the UAE. It is an ambitious and far-sighted project that, if realized, will be another golden feather in the crown of the UAE leadership.