*Integrated network of pedestrian and cycling paths to create 'new social and cultural environment'
The projects of the Supervisory Committee of Beautification of Roads & Public Places in Qatar support social and cultural development in the country by increasing the public’s interest in walking to work, commercial areas and sports and leisure destinations, thus building a society that promotes a healthy lifestyle and supports fitness.
Stressing this in a press statement, the Public Works Authority (Ashghal) said the committee emphasises the importance of paths for pedestrians and cyclist as a key element of transportation within the city of Doha, as the easiest and quickest means of travel in residential neighbourhoods, as the most environmentally clean modes and the best in terms of social interaction.
Accordingly, Ashghal, through its Expressways and Local Roads projects as well as through the projects of the Supervisory Committee of Beautification of Roads & Public Places in Qatar, will be implementing 2,650km of pedestrian and cycling paths by 2022, the statement notes.
The committee's projects aim to revive and maintain local elements from Qatari urban settings, which in turn contribute to and increase the Qatari cultural identity and its public realm. The committee is also working to encourage partnership with local artists to add an artistic and cultural footprint in different spaces.
Ashghal has started implementing the first phase of the Supervisory Committee of Beautification of Roads & Public Places in Qatar projects. These include some streets in areas lying in the north of Doha such as Legtaifiya, Buhaira, Onaiza and Al Markhiya streets and parts of Al Waab Street. The beautification of streets such as Al Khafji, Al Jamiaa, Arab League and other areas across the whole country is also under way.
To date, 73km of pedestrian and cycling paths have been completed, and other works pertaining to landscaping, tree-planting, street furniture, lighting and kiosks are continuing. Phase 1 is scheduled to be completed by the first quarter of 2020.
Moreover, the development of pedestrian and cycling paths has been completed on the road between Al Wakra Metro station and Al Janoub Stadium. The works included the execution of 5m-wide pedestrian paths and 3m-wide cycling paths in each direction of the road, extending over a length of 3.5km starting from the Metro station till Al Janoub Stadium.
The beautification works also included the planting of 1,100 trees to shade the pedestrian and cycle paths and the plantation of around 23,000sqm of grass. Street furniture, including benches, litter bins, bike racks and mobile food trucks, was also provided. In addition, directional signs were installed to facilitate the commute of users and fans during different events at Al Janoub Stadium such as the Amir Cup final.
The committee has also signed a contract for the development of Central Doha and the development of cycling and pedestrian paths along Corniche Road and Al Khor Road. Also, a tender to design and carry out landscaping works on Al Majd Road has been issued.
Further, the committee -- in co-ordination with the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) -- has also signed a contract for the design of some public parks in different parts of the country. These parks are Rawdat Al Khail, Al Gharrafa, Um Al Saneem, Rawdat Al Hamama as well as the maintenance of parks such as Ras Bu Abboud, Al Shamal and Al Wakrah.
The committee has also signed a contract with five contractors to implement some projects with a budget of QR700mn. The scope of works includes the construction of pedestrian and cycling paths, landscaping, trees, street furniture and lighting, to beautify main and local roads in various parts of the country. It also includes the development of some parks in with a special character such as the Qatar National Theatre Park, 5/6 Park and Al Abraj Park, which was opened on Saturday.
The 'Qatar Beautification and Our Kids Planting Trees' campaign
The 'Qatar Beautification and Our Kids Planting Trees' campaign, which was launched on Saturday, seeks to raise awareness among school students on the importance of planting trees. The launch was also marked by the opening of Al Abraj Park in West Bay.
The committee is keen to improve the lifestyle of the community in line with Qatar National Vision 2030. In this connection, it has decided to implement awareness campaigns aimed at raising awareness among students on the importance of planting trees for the environment and health.
In co-ordination with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, Ashghal launched the campaign and started involving school students in planting trees at some of Ashghal's projects. Some 30 students from Ahmed Mansour Primary School for Boys participated in the planting of 25 trees on the occasion.
The necessary tools and seedlings were provided and all necessary measures were taken to ensure the safety of students participating in the campaign. The 'Qatar Beautification and Our Kids Planting Trees' campaign will contribute to instilling environmental values in school students at different educational stages and to emphasise that preservation of the environment is everyone’s duty, the statement explains. This will help involve students in the process of realising the country's goals and encourage them to undertake volunteering activities that contribute to preservation of the environment in Qatar.
With the increase in the number of pedestrian and cycling paths and their integration with the public transportation and Doha Metro networks, more residents and visitors will be encouraged to visit tourist destinations around the country -- which will contribute to enhancing the economic returns for different companies and businesses, Ashghal points out. Moreover, there will be emphasis on allowing kiosks to be established along the pedestrian and cycling paths in vital areas. The kiosks will be provided with the necessary infrastructure. Further, the committee’s work will encourage the private sector in Qatar to invest in landscaping and nurseries.
The committee's projects are also contributing to sustainability by reducing environmental pollution, carbon dioxide emission and energy consumption. Transportation options will be provided, which will reduce the dependence on cars and improve lifestyle by relying on clean and safe means of transportation. A healthier environment will be provided within neighbourhoods and communities through increased green spaces. Also, the increase in landscaped and green areas will reduce temperatures in the city, the statement highlights. Part of the committee's work is to study sustainable solutions to reduce sandstorms coming from the desert. Among these solutions is the implementation of a green belt of trees and plants on some highways, such as Al Khor Road and Al Majd Road. The committee is also planning to utilise sustainable and recycled materials, thus reducing maintenance and cost. In line with the initiative of the MME to plant trees, the committee will co-ordinate with the Ashghal Highway Projects and Roads Projects departments and the MME's Public Parks Department to provide 10mn sqm of green areas by 2022 through various initiatives. There will also be collaboration with local and national tree nurseries such as Qatar Foundation to enable tree-planting, Ashghal adds.
Technical committee for artwork
The Supervisory Committee of Beautification of Roads & Public Places in Qatar has formed a joint committee comprising members from the supervisory committee, Qatar Museums and the Ministry of Culture and Sports, which aims to:
Provide an opportunity for all local artists to participate and make technical proposals that match the nature of the proposed sites.
Inform and educate the public about the importance of artworks in the city.
Provide an opportunity to receive different and creative art ideas.
As such, and in view of the importance of the Doha Central development project, the technical committee has, in the first stage, begun to study the mechanism of involving local artists in the proposal and development of some artworks in the area that require artists with extensive experience to meet the needs of these sites in terms of idea and design. The experiment will also be carried in several other areas of the country.
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