Bringing Life to the Streets of the UAE

This oped from <em>The National</em> calls for increased attention to the streetscapes of the United Arab Emirate, specifically the lack of non-palm trees and seating.
April 1, 2010, 6am PDT | Nate Berg
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"Even in the busiest downtown streets, where pavement and parking space is at a premium, there's still room to plant a tree or two here and there – though not more palm trees, please. They would need to be protected while they were young, or vandals might destroy them. In the long run, they would grow to a goodly height, a couple of storeys or more, casting shade on the pavements. They would help to reduce, even if only slightly, the glare of the summer sun and look good too.

Perhaps a few more seats could be placed at strategic points, allowing passers-by to sit and chat for a few moments in the course of the day or night. If the right species of trees were chosen, and there are a few of them around already, there would be a few weeks of the year at least when an array of brilliant white, pink, orange and red flowers would decorate our streets. Iridescent purple sunbirds and bulbuls as well as the drabber mynas, laughing doves and house sparrows would make good use of them to further improve the beauty of the cities."

Making these minor upgrades could greatly improve the feeling of the streets in these cities, and make them more livable for future generations, according to the author.

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Published on Monday, March 29, 2010 in The National
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