Check Out These 3 Projects Related to Sustainable Development in the Arab World
By: Yasmina Hage/ Arab America Contributing Writer
Sustainable development is a subject that we hear a lot about, and that should be of concern to us. It is a problem that impacts all generations and nationalities. Therefore, there is a growing awareness among individuals to change our lifestyles and be more respectful of the environment. Today, there is an increase of young people invested in this cause because they know that it will be up to them to repair the damage in the future. Faced with this problem, states are moving forward with plans to rectify the damage done aggressively.
In addition to being crucial for our planet’s survival for the future, sustainable development is a sector that should create more than 10 million jobs in the global economy by 2050. As a result, countries committed to sustainable development will be able to create more jobs.
Being an expensive sector in the short term, there has long been a debate on which countries should change their habits the most. Countries in the process used to say that it was not up to them to change because they pollute less than developing countries. However, all over the world, initiatives are being taken on different scales. In the Arab world, countries such as the UAE, Qatar, and Jordan are taking the problem seriously. Let’s see what they are doing to help save our beautiful planet.
The City of Dubai, for example, is well known for its stunning architecture. Indeed, in the middle of the desert, a new “Sustainable City” has been created. This city is located less than 25 km from downtown Dubai and corresponds to a residential experience geared towards respect for the environment. This new city brings together families and small businesses that share the same values. It was built for 3000 residents, has 500 villas, and 89 apartments. In addition, this sustainable city is self-sufficient thanks to the amount of energy produced by the solar panels that cover the roofs of homes, car parks, and businesses.
Karim El-Jisr stated, “The Sustainable City cannot stop there. Until we have 1000 more “Sustainable Cities,” it will not make much difference to our planet: We will have succeeded when this model will be replicated by ourselves and others.”
The investment to make this country more environmentally friendly does not stop there. In fact, they also consist of the development by 2022, of 500 km of cycle paths, half of which have already been built, as in Al Qudra. Residents, tourists, and foreigners are all delighted by this initiative. A Belgian cyclist said, “Coming here and having 140 km of cycle paths, no cars, only for bikes, it’s fantastic. For me, these are unique conditions. You don’t find that in Europe.” Dubai plans to produce 75% of its energy using renewable resources by 2050.
First Sustainable Development?
Dubai is now planning to build the world’s largest Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) project. This plan will be very useful in creating energy for the city, which is sunny all year round and will use it to its advantage. The project will include the world’s tallest solar tower (260 meters high), which will enable Dubai to have the world’s tallest building in this field.
Sustainable development is one of Qatar’s priorities. It invests heavily in the public transport sector which at the outset was virtually non-existent. The aim of public transport is to reduce automobile-related expenses and greenhouse gas emissions sustainably. Examples of projects include the Doha Metro, the Lusail Tramway, and some electric shuttles that will operate in several areas.
Also, with a view to being more environmentally friendly, Qatar will organize a World Cup with zero carbon footprints. It also intends to develop environmentally friendly stadiums, inducing the construction of the majority of the stadiums to be made from recycled materials. One example is the Ras Abu Aboud Stadium, which is almost entirely built from containers.
Jordan has announced the launch of a project to build a new “Green” city east of Amman to relieve congestion in the capital. The construction of the “Green” city is located 30 km from Amman and was due to start mid-2018. This city is a long-term project with a projected to be completed at the end year of 2050. It will be an “ecological, intelligent, and sustainable city.”
In addition to its environmental benefits, the city will be built on a major highway linking Jordan to Iraq and Saudi Arabia. As such, it will create a “business-friendly environment,” provide affordable housing, as well as recreational facilities and public parks. The city will also use natural renewable energy sources to produce energy. Therefore, the objectives of this project are to relieve congestion in the capital Amman, which has 4 million inhabitants, and in Zarqa (1.3 million inhabitants), and the second objective is to be more environmentally friendly.
All these initiatives for a more eco-friendly world are only the beginning of moving toward sustainable cities – and we are excited to see such progress.
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