Nobody Walks in Dubai

The United Arab Emirates has plenty of tall, flashy buildlings, but the rush to build has largely left street life scarce in many parts.

"It could be argued that both Dubai and Abu Dhabi have developed too quickly, and according to how planners thought cities ought to look, not how they ought to function. The result is the appearance from afar of large, populous cities, but the reality is that much of Abu Dhabi and Dubai are entirely unfriendly to pedestrians – and what is the point of a city without pedestrians? Because priority was given to cars and not to people, walking is difficult, sometimes impossible and usually dangerous. Street life is at a minimum.

Here, the idea of public space has not yet permeated the civic consciousness. The excessive heat is often cited as an argument against creating more exciting outdoor businesses and other spaces, but it doesn't hold water: for more than half the year we have the kind of weather that most cold-climate people envy."

Full Story: Pedestrian-friendly Abu Dhabi, a step in the right direction


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