Saudi city goes underground to avert vehicular traffic

City of Unaizah, Erick van Egeraat, Urban Planning, Saudi Arabia, vertical gardens, city planning, pedestrian-friendly city, underground street, underground parking, Saudi Arabia


Is there anything worse than being in a hot city with cars idling, kicking up heat and pollution? We don’t think so, and apparently Erick van Egeraat agrees. The city of Unaizah has approved Egeraat’s plans to build a massive ring road around the city, as well as an underground street.

Erick van Egeraat submitted a plan to build a ring road that encircles the 58-hectare city center. This is a one-way road that has four lanes of traffic. The diameter of the East/West route is 800 meters while the North/South route comprises a diameter of 920 meters.

City of Unaizah, Erick van Egeraat, Urban Planning, Saudi Arabia, vertical gardens, city planning, pedestrian-friendly city, underground street, underground parking, Saudi Arabia

And this is where it gets interesting. The master plan includes an underground street that travels North/South and links, along with the ring road, to an underground parking lot. With this, the design team hopes to limit the aboveground vehicular traffic and ensure easier pedestrian access to the city.

Work has already commenced on the ring road construction, and Egeraat is finalizing the master plan and other building projects.

Related: Saudi Arabia sinks $26 billion in green buildings

City of Unaizah, Erick van Egeraat, Urban Planning, Saudi Arabia, vertical gardens, city planning, pedestrian-friendly city, underground street, underground parking, Saudi Arabia

Included in the city’s upgrade is a push to grow more palm trees inside the city center to reference those that have historically grown just outside the city. Plus this creates an environment that is more conducive to social engagement than one without any green spaces, and provides much needed shade in the brutal heat.

Also on the docket are more retail facilities, residential quarters, a mosque, and a mall. The latter will be decked out with vertical gardens and perhaps even waterworks (we hope they use reclaimed water.)

:: WAN

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