The Line: Saudi Arabia’s futuristic 170-km-long vertical city in desert

The Line will 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 Line Saudi Arabia
The Line vertical city's design. Photo: Twitter/NEOM

The Saudi Arabian government has unveiled the designs of The Line, a one-building vertical city of the future dubbed as “a city unlike anywhere else on Earth” in Neom in the southwestern part of the country.

According to the government, The Line will be the first city in the world with no streets, no cars, and no traffic jams, meaning time for the more enjoyable things in life.

The Line will be an architectural marvel running in a straight line from the mountains of Neom to the Red Sea.

Crown Prince and Chairman of the Neom board of directors, Mohammed bin Salman recently announced the designs of The Line.

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The Line can host 9 million people

The announcement reveals the most important characteristics of The Line, which is only 200 meters wide (656 feet), 170 kilometres long and 500 metres (1,640 feet) above sea level.

The Line will eventually accommodate 9 million residents and will be built on a footprint of 34 square kilometres.

“This in turn 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 traveling on foot. 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,” according to an official press release.

It will be a “civilizational revolution that puts humans first, providing an unprecedented urban living experience while preserving the surrounding nature”.

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.

The Line will 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 Line
The Line will eventually accommodate 9 million residents and will be built on a footprint of 34 square kilometres. Source: Twitter/NEOM

According to the Saudi Arabian government, The Line will be “created by a team of world-renowned architects and engineers, led by Neom, to develop this revolutionary concept for the city of the future”.

The city’s design will be completely digitised, and the construction industrialised to a large degree by significantly advancing construction technologies and manufacturing processes.

‘Will challenge traditional flat, horizontal cities’

In January last year, the crown prince launched the initial idea and vision of the city that redefines the concept of urban development and what cities of the future should look like.

“The designs of The Line embody how urban communities will be in the future in an environment free from roads, cars and emissions. It will 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,” the release said.

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

He added, “We cannot ignore the liveability 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.”

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