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THE LINE In NEOM – A New Documentary Takes Us Closer to the Ambitious Project

In the northwest part of Saudi Arabia lies an untouched expanse of land, boasting a mixed demography and a breathtaking landscape of beaches, mountains, valleys, and dunes. It is here that world-renowned architects, designers, and engineers are building an audacious urban development project. THE LINE in NEOM is is set to take shape, challenging traditional city planning with its revolutionary top-down approach and vertical urbanism.

THE LINE, an ambitious and groundbreaking project, is set to redefine urban living. In a captivating documentary by the Discovery Channel, titled THE LINE: Saudi Arabia’s City of the Future in NEOM, architects such as Sir Peter Cook and Thom Mayne, alongside members of the Neom team and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, delve into the visionary concept and transformative potential of THE LINE. It shows how the project can revolutionize our lifestyles and urban landscapes, propelling us toward a future where sustainable living, technology, and nature intertwine harmoniously.

“If it succeeds, it will be a new Babylon,” Sir Peter Cook said in the documentary.

Source- Discovery UK on YouTube.

THE LINE In NEOM – Tech-Fueled, Sustainable, and Vertical Living

THE LINE is a linear urban development project packed with new technologies and innovations that will reinvent urban living as we know it. With a keen focus on reduced land footprint and sustainable practices, it seeks to bring the future to the present and pave the way for a more environmentally conscious world.

The idea behind THE LINE is to integrate nature and communities harmoniously. This ambitious project plans to accommodate a staggering 9 million people in a mere 34 square kilometers. It plans on reinventing urban landscapes in ways that we have never seen before, calling for a paradigm shift in how we perceive and approach city planning.

A year ago, NEOM released renderings of THE LINE showcasing how various aspects of life, including work, leisure, and community are integrated into its design. Residences, workspaces, and amenities will be laid vertically, and residents will have to move up, down, or across to access them. Although living in a vertical city sounds apprehensive, THE LINE, and everyone involved in the project urge us to open our minds to this transformative concept. One thing that comes to mind when we talk about living vertically is the feeling of being crowded. We recently talked about this in terms of claustrophobic architecture, and how there are different ways to go about bringing a sense of openness when dealing with limited spaces.

Since sustainability is a huge cornerstone of THE LINE, there won’t be any carbon-emitting cars. Instead, an efficient fast rail system will serve as the primary mode of transportation, ensuring a low-carbon footprint and seamless connectivity throughout the linear city. Furthermore, THE LINE is spearheading initiatives like a wind garden and addressing the water scarcity problem of the desert through water recycling projects and solar-powered desalination plants.

Addressing Climate Change and the Need for Ambitious Projects

The urgency to take bold and ambitious action, at least in the AEC industry, has never been greater. To combat and mitigate the effects of climate change, we must embrace innovative and forward-thinking initiatives. Regenerative designs, energy-efficient heating and cooling methods, and decarbonization efforts are critical steps that will redefine how we interact with the environment.

Both seasoned and up-and-coming architects need to design structures that address the pressing needs of our time. This can be done when they shed their fears and leverage all available technologies in the best way possible.

In the documentary, Sir Peter Cook says, “It’s always assumed the young are more progressive. Now, I think the youngest architects are nervous. They’re very nervous. They’re not natural experimenters. They’re a bit scared.”

Some might call THE LINE an overly ambitious project, but ‘too ambitious’ is just what we need today. There’s still some skepticism regarding THE LINE but the crown prince remains positive. “They say a lot of projects in Saudi Arabia can’t be done, they’re too ambitious,” Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said. “They can keep saying that and we can keep proving them wrong.”

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