The streets of Dubai are about to get greener, after Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid approved construction of 500km of bike lanes by 2021. The Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai also approved walking paths along Dubai Creek, additional metro stations and dedicated bus lanes, all in the hopes of encouraging exercise, improving transportation and helping reduce car dependence.
Dubai has struggled with air pollution as it has expanded, and helped contribute to the United Arab Emirates ranking as the most polluted nation in the world in 2015. Improving that air quality is going to require a multi-pronged approach. The city has already approved a huge, pedestrian-friendly urban green space, wind-powered skyscrapers and the third largest solar park in the world.
Most of the approved new projects are related to Expo 2020, with construction to begin next year in time for the Expo. The plan includes adding 5 new metro stations, which can accommodate an additional 650,000 passengers a day, along with upgrading many existing roads. Bus lanes will help improve mass transit, while bike lanes will cross the city, encouraging people to ride bikes rather than drive cars. Some of the improvements aren’t so green, however, including doubling the capacity of Dubai-Al Ain Road and paving new roads, which will help facilitate transportation, but won’t help Dubai’s pollution problems