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Saudi Arabia's 170-Kilometre Linear City

NEOM | 3:58

Saudi Arabia's 170-Kilometre Linear City

Tim Gibson

19 January 2021

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SAUDI ARABIA'S crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, has announced an ambitious plan to build a linear, car-free, sustainable city that extends over 170-kilometres. 

Appropriately named “The Line”, the city will house more than a million people but not feature any roads. Residents will instead be able to travel up and down the city strip by underground public infrastructure.

This will also transport autonomous freight vehicles and have an “ultra-high-speed transit” option for longer distances, ensuring no journey takes longer than twenty minutes.

All other essential services - such as schools, medical clinics, leisure facilities and green spaces - will be located within a five minute walk from any one point.

Above: A cross-section of the city's planned underground transport systems (image courtesy of NEOM).

The city will be powered by renewable energy and run by artificial intelligence systems.

The plan to build “around nature, instead of over it” means that 95 percent of the natural landscape in the city's path will remain once construction is complete.

Work is set to begin early in 2021 with the initial stages of the project being funded by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

Additional stages are aimed to be funded “by people from all over the world.”

Saudi Arabia hopes construction of the city will create 380,000 jobs and more than USD $48BN a year for the kingdom’s GDP.

The entire project is part of the country’s wider “Neom” economic zone; a planned cross-border city on the Red Sea that will use the latest futuristic smart city technologies.

Above: An artist's depiction of "The Line" as seen from space (image courtesy of NEOM).

The Al Huwaitat tribe that lives in the area earmarked for The Line has appealed to the UN to stop Saudi Arabia from displacing it.

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