With a “mission to accelerate the world’s transition towards sustainable developments,” URB envisioned a smart running and cycling infrastructure in Dubai called the Loop. It’s a 93km sustainable urban highway designed to be a zero-emission transport system. 

It aims to “connect more than 3 million residents using a healthy mode of transport, to key services & locations by walking and cycling within minutes.” According to URB, this infrastructure will offer an enjoyable climate-controlled all-year environment to make walking and cycling the primary mode of transport for daily commutes for more than 80% of the country’s residents by 2040. 

URB CEO, Baharash Bagherian, says the Loop aims to make Dubai “the most connected city on earth by foot or bike.” The infrastructure is in line with the country’s ambition of becoming a 20-minute city, where residents are able to access daily needs and destinations within 20 minutes by foot or bicycle.

This infrastructure will generate electricity using integrated kinetic paving that draws usable energy from human footsteps. The technology works by using electromagnetic induction generators which vertically displace from the weight of a person’s footstep to create energy which will then be fed to generators as usable electricity.

The pavement will be made from recycled car tires that flex when stepped on, thus creating kinetic energy. The flooring will also be equipped with sensors that will provide the number of footfalls and the amount of real-time energy generated. Aside from using kinetic energy, the Loop will also utilize 100% recycled water for irrigation.

More than an urban mobility infrastructure, the Loop will also have vertical farms for food security and provide residents with shared amenities. These include leisure and wellness facilities such as fitness stations and sports courts and tourism assets such as wellness hotels and wellness centers. 

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Images courtesy of URB