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Is The Future of Sustainable Urban Living Linear? – Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Presents THE LINE


“I present to you THE LINE, a city of a million residents with a length of 170 km (106 mi) that preserves 95% of nature within NEOM, with zero cars, zero streets and zero carbon emissions.”

A bold & beautiful statement made by Royal Highness Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince, and Chairman of the NEOM Company Board of Directors.

THE LINE at NEOM is a revolution in urban living and a blueprint for how people and the planet can coexist in harmony. THE LINE, a 170km belt of hyper-connected future communities built around nature and without cars and roads, is a direct response to some of humanity’s most pressing challenges today, such as legacy infrastructure, pollution, traffic, and human congestion.

Video Source: NEOM

“Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince & chairman of NEOM announced the design and architecture of THE LINE”

Get More Insights >> NEOM Releases Renderings for THE LINE (opens in a new tab)

It is a cornerstone of Saudi Vision 2030 and an economic engine for the Kingdom, aiming to contribute 380,000 future jobs and SAR180 billion (USD48 billion) to domestic GDP by 2030.

Let’s take a look at this Revolution in Urban Living called THE LINE.


Why Was THE LINE Drawn?

Cities have been built throughout history to protect their citizens. Cities prioritized machines, cars, and factories over people after the Industrial Revolution. People spend years of their lives commuting in cities considered to be the most advanced in the world and Commute times will double by 2050. Due to rising CO2 emissions and sea levels, one billion people will be forced to relocate by 2050, and 90% of people breathe polluted air.

  • Should we sacrifice ecology in the name of progress and innovation?
  • Should pollution kill seven million people every year?
  • Why should we lose one million people to traffic accidents every year?
  • Why should we accept wasting years of our lives in traffic?

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman literally drew THE LINE at conventional city concepts and chose a Futuristic approach towards urban sustainable living.

What is THE LINE?

THE LINE is a revolutionary urbanization approach with a 170km long linear urban development of multiple, hyper-connected communities, with walkable neighborhoods integrated with public parks and the natural landscape. It is a 21st-century and beyond the model of urban design and livability in harmony with nature.

THE LINE will transform urban life as we know it, allowing NEOM to become an economic engine for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the region, and the rest of the world.

Watch the Official Release Video Here-

Key Highlights of THE LINE

  • By 2030, THE LINE will have created 380,000 new jobs, boosted economic diversification, and contributed SAR 180 billion to the Saudi economy.
  • The principles of environmental responsibility will be enshrined in business regulations to promote sustainable and regenerative development practices, and it will be powered entirely by renewable energy.
  • The infrastructure spine will provide communities along THE LINE with ultra-high-speed mass transit access.
  • Open space, parks, gardens, the natural environment, and sustainable food production will all be seamlessly mixed in communities that live in harmony with nature.
  • Within a five-minute walk, you’ll find all of your daily necessities.
  • People, not cars, will be at the center of communities, which will be easily accessible and designed for convenience and walkability, resulting in vistas of beauty and tranquility.
  • THE LINE is supported by a physical and digital infrastructure layer that runs beneath the surface and houses essential utilities and transportation services.
  • Over 90% of the data in NEOM will be analyzed to provide a predictive system with ever-improving services to residents and businesses through a digital framework incorporating Artificial Intelligence and robotics that continuously learn and grow.
  • The communities will be self-sufficient and reflect the personalities of the people who live there, as well as the region and the industries that exist there.

Key Highlights of THE LINE

Where is THE LINE located?

THE LINE runs through NEOM, connecting the Red Sea coast to the mountains and upper valleys of Saudi Arabia’s northwestern region. Because of its geographical location, it is an obvious choice for a global innovation hub. More than 40% of the world’s population will be able to travel to NEOM’s breathtaking terrain in less than four hours, and the Red Sea already handles 13% of the world’s trade.

How will THE LINE Revolutionize Urban Living?

THE LINE’s future communities will be home to more than 1 million people from around the world, providing a platform for innovation and prosperous businesses while addressing some of the world’s most pressing issues.

THE LINE reintroduces walkability as a cornerstone of urban design, revitalizing urban life. Putting nature, commerce, business, and innovation at the center, will foster a sense of community. Everything is built to serve human needs, with 100% renewable energy and a digital framework incorporating AI and robotics.

THE LINE was built with walkability and livability in mind. THE LINE is defined by its ubiquitous relationship with nature, its comfort and flexibility, and the fact that everything you need is never more than a short walk away within each community. The NEOM livability model is built on the idea of living, working, and enjoying life without having to commute.

Is The Future of Sustainable Urban Living Linear?

Although Saudi Arabia’s vision for its unique city is ambitious, some urban design engineers remain skeptical.

“It’s quite clear that NEOM is more of a vanity project aimed at the domestic elite and an international audience in terms of a new Saudi, one that’s open and economically or socially liberal,” says Al Qst’s Josh Cooper. “At the same time, not allowing local performers or interests to participate in these decision-making processes.”

Stephen Wheeler, a landscape architect, and environmental design professor at the University of California, said, “The history of so-called megaprojects is not pretty.” “They usually don’t turn out the way the visionaries intended; they frequently succumb to economic conditions or other people’s ideas of what should happen, or they end up costing far more than anticipated.”

According to the Guardian, ‘The Line currently only exists as a website and a press release issued by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on January 10. The proposal calls for the development of the 106-mile strip in Neom, a planned city in northwest Saudi Arabia. The Saudi government promotes the area as undeveloped, but it is home to 20,000 Huwaitat (also spelled Howeitat) tribe members who have protested being evicted from the megacity project.’

Furthermore, many made-from-scratch cities cater to tourists or second-home owners rather than locals. For example, Dubai’s Sustainable City is billed as the world’s first net-zero-energy city, but it primarily caters to foreigners looking to buy second homes.

Despite doubts about NEOM’s ability to deliver on its promises, there would still be a race to reserve a condo on The LINE before anyone else does.

Time will till how long THE LINE goes.

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