Dubai Green Spine project offers vision of sustainable mobility

ITS World Congress host city plans to transform Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road
UTC / July 10, 2024
By Adam Hill
Dubai Green Spine (image: URB)
What the Dubai Green Spine might look like (image: URB)

Dubai - host city for this year's ITS World Congress - has unveiled ambitious plans to create a sustainable highway, complete with solar-powered trams, which promotes non-motorised transport.

The Dubai Green Spine project is designed to transform one of the city's most famous highways - Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road (E311) - into a 64km green corridor which will anticipate Dubai's population expansion.

Dubai-based urban planning and development firm URB and its research arm Epic Lab are developing the project, which dovetails with the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan.

"The Dubai Green Spine isn’t just about transit; it’s about transforming how cities function, making them more livable and human-centric," says Baharash Bagherian, CEO of URB.

"This initiative exemplifies how integrated, thoughtful urban planning can drastically improve city life, turning everyday environments into vibrant ecosystems that nurture both people and the planet."

The plan for Dubai Green Spine is to have 100% solar-powered trams, supported by a 300-megawatt solar energy system, which URB says will reduce the city's carbon footprint and promote "a shift from car dependency to more sustainable transport modes".

The project plan is for green spaces with diverse habitats, connected by extensive pedestrian and cycling paths, to promote active travel.

Dubai has a '20-minute city' initiative, which posits that people should be able to walk or bike to 80% of their daily needs and destinations in just 20 minutes: Dubai Green Spine sets great store by the integration of mixed-use developments combining residential, commercial and recreational spaces, "strategically positioned to boost urban connectivity and community interaction". 

URB is also behind The Loop concept, which is a proposed 93km cycling highway.


Dubai Green Spine: key facts

•    64km sustainable urban corridor.
•    300 megawatts solar power.
•    Promotes biodiversity with one million trees.
•    Aligns with Dubai 2040 Plan.
•    Promotes non-motorised transport.
•    Significantly reduces carbon footprint.
•    Enhances community connectivity.
•    Incorporates urban farms and gardens.