All parks across Dubai will soon use solar powered lighting systems, Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality told Gulf News.
“All lights in our parks will be solar. We have already started implementing it and gradually will cover all the parks,” he said. “This is one of our many initiatives towards sustainable development. We are focusing on measures that help reduce consumption of power through natural resources.”
Lootah was speaking to Gulf News on the sidelines of the Future Cities Conference, organised by the Dubai Municipality and the Environmental Centre for Arab Towns (ECAT) in collaboration with Informa Exhibitions.
He said cities of the 21st century must evolve into centres of progress that serve as the forces for national and global advancement. No single entity can do this alone, he said; it will take individuals, businesses and all levels of government working together to achieve these goals. Leaders of the future have the responsibility to make this transition happen and must have the courage to lead, Lootah added.
He also outlined the vision and strategy for Dubai over the coming years, including areas of focus and what initiatives will be put in place to drive forward a sustainable strategy.
The conference also covered a number of key topics, pertinent to the devising of sustainable urban developments, including affordable housing, tourism, infrastructure, mobility and branding.
Last year, the Dubai Municipality General Project Department finished work on a neighbourhood park in Al Sofouh which uses solar lighting systems. Built on an area of 1.55 hectares, the park is the first to have used this technology. The project, that cost around Dh7 million, involved usage of special lighting elements that exploited solar energy for night lighting.
Dubai Municipality’s Strategic Plan aims to increases the city’s per capita green area to 23.4 square metres. It also aims to raise the proportion of cultivated land in urban public areas in Dubai to 3.15 per cent by the end of 2011.
“Dubai is one of the most beautiful cities and has seen a lot of development in the past. This has given a good quality of life but there have been side effects of this development like rise in per capita garbage production, high petrol consumption and high electricity,” said Lootah. “We need to ensure a sustainable development and adopt more environment friendly ways” like re-cycling sewage water and using it for irrigation, he said.