URB is set to construct the world’s greenest highway, the Green Spine, in Dubai, UAE. This project, part of the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan, will utilize 100% renewable energy, primarily solar power. Electric trams will operate on solar-panel-clad railways, and the highway will be surrounded by urban farms and gardens, allowing residents to grow their own food and plants.

The Green Spine will stretch for 64 kilometers along Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road (E311), benefiting nearly eight million residents by promoting non-motorized transport and reducing the city’s carbon footprint. URB, known for projects like Dubai Reefs, Dubai Mangroves, and The Loop, is designing this initiative.

The highway will integrate solar panels into its architecture, particularly on the tram tracks, generating over 300 megawatts of clean energy, enough to power approximately 130,000 homes. This shift from fossil fuels to solar power is expected to reduce carbon emissions by around 1,051,200 tonnes annually.

Smart technologies will support the Green Spine, including sensors to monitor traffic and energy use. The project will feature native flora around pedestrian paths and cycling tracks for natural cooling and clean air. Residents will have opportunities to jog and grow plants on vertical farms along the highway. A specialized drainage system with porous surfaces will prevent flooding and absorb rainwater.

Solar panels will be placed on the tram tracks.

The Green Spine will also include mixed-use commercial and leisure spaces, reducing the need for long commutes. Educational and cultural facilities, such as museums and schools, will be strategically located to serve as community hubs. URB aims to enhance biodiversity by planting over one million native trees.

The project aligns with Dubai’s 20-minute city initiative, facilitating access to essential services within a short walk. Green roofs, parks, and vertical gardens along the highway will help regulate temperatures and provide recreational spaces. Bioswales will clean and reuse rainwater for the surrounding gardens and farms. While construction details are pending, the Green Spine is part of the broader Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan.

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