Nate Berg is a freelance reporter and a former staff writer for CityLab. He lives in Los Angeles.
An elevated walkway will connect the world's tallest skyscraper with the city's metro system
At 828 meters, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai is the world’s tallest building. By next year, there will be a huge tentacle nearly as long extended out from the building, creating an elevated and air-conditioned pedestrian path.
The glass tube-like walkway will connect the skyscraper and the adjoining Dubai Mall to the nearby metro station, as Emirates 24/7 reports. The walkway will be roughly 820 meters long, with a central pedestrian passage flanked on each side by five moving walkways (or as Emirates 24/7 awesomely calls them, “travelators”). Emaar Properties, developer of Downtown Dubai, estimates that its new walkway can handle a peak capacity of 13,500 pedestrians per hour.
The Dubai Mall Metro Link is being geared as one of Dubai’s sustainable transportation initiatives. There are also plans to extend the walkway in the future, connecting it to other sites and office buildings.
Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman, Emaar Properties, said: "The Dubai Mall is one of the most visited tourist, retail, and leisure destinations in the world. While the mall offers covered parking for over 14,000 vehicles, we have been evaluating various alternatives to further streamline visitor traffic and add to their convenience."
Typically, elevated and covered pedestrian pathways – or skywalks – are blasted by critics for pulling life off of streets and undoing the street-level economic and aesthetic benefits foot traffic can create. But in Dubai, where the massive scale of development has largely overlooked the concept of pedestrianism, maybe it doesn’t really matter.