Light Rail Transit (LRT) and Transit Villages in Qatar: A Planning-Strategy to Revitalize the Built Environment of Doha
For the past several decades, the car has been the most popular method for travelling within cities, small towns and rural areas. This has caused increasing traffic congestion, which in turn has become a drain to the economy of cities due to lost productivity. Additionally, the impact of climate change, the consequent need of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the wide fluctuations in the price of oil are prompting cities around the world to make large investments in urban public transit. The implementation of public transportation has become a critical issue for the urban development of cities: more communities are planning LRT (light rail transit systems) and transit villages (or TODs) as part of an integrated transport and land use planning approach for revitalizing cities. Middle Eastern cities, known for their extreme dependence on cars, are currently investing large sums into public transit systems. In the past two decades, Doha, the capital city of Qatar, has witnessed unforeseen economic growth due to oil and natural gas production and export. Currently the nation is developing a major urban public transit network consisting of the Doha Metro, the Lusail LRT and a bus rapid transit system. This paper explores: (1) how public transit systems and land use fit into the larger challenge of urban transformation and regeneration; (2) the progress and implications of the development of the new LRT system for the planning of Doha’s built environment; and (3) the extent to which Transit Oriented Developments (TODs) are strategies for sustainable urbanism and smart growth in Qatar.
- Architecture & Urban Planning [49 items ]