Saudi Crown Prince unveils designs of THE LINE, revealing future city will be just 200m wide

The design of THE LINE has been unveiled by His Royal Highness Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Chairman of the Neom Board of Directors. Billed as a civilisational revolution that puts humans first, the development aims to provide an “unprecedented urban living experience while preserving the surrounding nature”.

The Crown Prince launched the initial idea and vision for the city in January 2021, and noted then that it would redefine the concept of urban development and what cities of the future should look like.

According to Neom, the design of THE LINE embodies how urban communities will be in the future, in an environment free from roads, cars and emissions. The development is to run on 100% renewable energy and prioritise people’s health and well-being over transportation and infrastructure, as in traditional cities. It puts nature ahead of development and will contribute to preserving 95% of Neom’s land.

“At THE LINE’s launch last year, we committed to a civilisational revolution that puts humans first based on a radical change in urban planning. The designs revealed today for the city’s vertically layered communities will challenge the traditional flat, horizontal cities and create a model for nature preservation and enhanced human livability. THE LINE will tackle the challenges facing humanity in urban life today and will shine a light on alternative ways to live,” said HRH Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

THE LINE’s key characteristics were revealed during the announcement, which is that the future city will be only 200m wide, in addition to being 170km long and sitting 500m above sea level. Neom says the city will eventually accommodate nine million residents and will be built on a footprint of 34sqkm – Neom notes this is unheard of when compared to other cities of similar population bases.

The project’s vertical design will reduce the infrastructure footprint and create never-before-seen efficiencies in city functions. Its ideal climate all year round will ensure that residents can enjoy surrounding nature when walking around. Residents will also have access to all facilities in THE LINE within a five-minute walk, in addition to a high-speed rail with an end-to-end transit of 20 minutes, Neom explains.

The Crown Prince added, “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.”

He continued, “Neom will be a place for all people from across the globe to make their mark on the world in creative and innovative ways. Neom remains one of the most important projects of Saudi Vision 2030, and our commitment to delivering THE LINE on behalf of the nation remains resolute.”

In June 2022, Neom awarded contracts for one of the largest transportation and utility infrastructure projects in the world.

According to Neom, THE LINE offers a new approach to urban design: the idea of layering city functions vertically, while giving people the possibility of moving seamlessly in three dimensions (up, down or across) to access them is a concept referred to as Zero Gravity Urbanism. Different from just tall buildings, this concept layers public parks and pedestrian areas, schools, homes and places for work, so that one can move effortlessly to reach all daily needs within five minutes, Neom notes.

The city is expected to have an outer mirror facade that will provide “its unique character and allow even its small footprint to blend with nature, while the interior will be built to create extraordinary experiences and magical moments.”

The city’s design will be completely digitised, and the construction industrialised to a large degree by significantly advancing construction technologies and manufacturing processes, Neom comments. The announcement of THE LINE’s designs is said to be a continuation of Neom’s progress in the development of its flagship projects such as OXAGON, its reimagined manufacturing and innovation city; and TROJENA, its global mountain tourism destination that will offer the Arabian Gulf’s first outdoor skiing; as well as the launch of two of Neom’s subsidiaries: ENOWA, its energy, water and hydrogen company; and the Neom Tech & Digital Company.

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