Watch what Saudi Arabia’s 105-mile-long linear city ‘The Line’ looks like

The Line will cover an area of 13 square miles.
Ameya Paleja
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The LineN/A
  • HRH Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman has revealed designs for The Line.
  • The linear city of the future is expected to decrease the country's dependence on oil reserves.
  • It will only take 20 minutes to travel from one end of the city to the other through a high-speed rail line.

A year and a half after Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman first announced his ambitious plans to build a linear city, he has now revealed the first glimpses of what the city will look like.

In his bid to steer his country away from the dependence on revenue from crude oil reserves, the Crown Prince has set himself on a path that requires him to do something so outlandish that the world would want to come and see it. He probably recognizes that building the tallest structure in the world does not cut ice with many people. Instead, he is making a city with skyscrapers taller than the Empire State Building and extends linearly for 105 miles, connecting the country’s west coast with the east.

“We cannot ignore the livability and environmental crises facing our world’s cities, and NEOM is at the forefront of delivering new and imaginative solutions to address these issues. NEOM is leading a team of the brightest minds in architecture, engineering and construction to make the idea of building upwards a reality,” Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in a press release.

The Line

The Line is being designed to put humans first in the pecking order of urban planning and strip off the need for roads to move cars and buses around. Transit within the city is through a high-speed underground rail line that can take you from one end of the city to the other in 20 minutes, while everything else you may need is expected to be a few minutes walk away from you.

The city can accommodate nine million people but only uses an area of 13 sq miles (34 sq km), which has not been seen in a conventional city. The power demand of the town will be 100 percent met by renewable sources, while 95 percent of the project land will be preserved.

Calling it Urban Gravity Urbanism, the project design vertically layers the city’s buildings so that people can move up, down, or across instead of traveling for miles. Therefore, everything is just a five-minute walk away, whether it is a public park, office workspace, or school.

The construction of the project will use digital designs and industrial-scale construction to pace up the building of the city, while an outer mirror facade is meant for the construction to blend into its environment.

What we still do not know

Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal released some details about the project from the documents it had accessed. The latest release does not look very different from what the WSJ revealed, rather falls short of giving any details on how people will live and work in this new concept of a city.

The WSJ report included the use of vertical farming and the use of autonomous bots to harvest and transport the food to community kitchens as well as a subscription fee from residents to use them. There was also a mention of a sports stadium built 1,000 feet above the ground and the issue of how the project could disrupt the migration of birds as well as snatch lands away from the tribes of the region.

The Line is also one of the many other ambitious designs to be undertaken in the NEOM project, such as a manufacturing and innovation city, called Oxagon and the first outdoor skiing destination in the Arabian Gulf, that will be housed at Trojena, a tourist destination.

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