Saudi Arabia is home to some of the world’s most interesting and ambitious. architecturebut the newest urban project in the country may top them all.
The government of Saudi Arabia revealed plans in 2021 for the city of neome, including a megastructure called The Line, a massive scheme that is still years away from completion. The Line is designed to be an entire city made up of two 656-foot-wide (200-meter-wide) parallel skyscrapers, each 106 miles (170 kilometers) long and 1,640 feet (500 meters) tall (taller than most of the world’s tallest skyscrapers), stretching across the northwestern part of Saudi Arabia near the Red Sea.
If you think this sounds like the setting for a futuristic, dystopian novel, you’re not wrong. The Line is described as a one-building vertical city outfitted with exterior mirrors, large enough to hold 9 million people, along with all they need, from parks and waterfalls to flying taxis and robot maids. There are even plans to include an artificial moon for residents to gaze upon.
With its proposed width of just 656 feet, the line will rely primarily on its height to encompass its residents and a host of modern trappings, such as a high-speed rail to connect 106-mile sections of the city. Saudi officials claim The Line will be otherwise devoid of roads, cars or emissions and it will be powered strictly by clean energy (although details have not been released). Here are some of most notable proposed features of the Line:
- in vertical layers homes, offices, public parks and public schools.
- Air conditioning throughout the year in all interior and exterior spaces.
- high-speed train that will transport residents from end to end in 20 minutes.
- a five minute walk from all services.
- accessibility to parks and natural elements two minutes on foot.
When complete, the line will span 13 square miles (34 square kilometers) through the desert to literally become an oasis, according to the Press release. Architectural renderings show a building with two distinct sides incorporating a green space in the middle filled with fountains and plants. The plans were designed by American company Morphosis.
Although the timeline was not part of The Line’s announcement, initial groundwork began in October 2021 with residents expected to begin moving in by year 2030. This deadline was shared as part of a broader improvement plan across the country called Vision 2030 which is set to attract 100 million annual visitors and keep Saudi Arabia in the race against travel hot spots like its Gulf neighbors. Dubai other Abu Dhabi. The Line is only part of the $500 billion Neo Projectby initiative announced in 2017nested in the Vision 2030 plan and focused on the northwestern part of Saudi Arabia.
Along with The Line, there are plans to build a network of airports as well as the world’s largest green power plant. The area is intended to become so self-sufficient that it is known as a “country within a country” where residents will be called “Neomiosinstead of “Saudi”.
“NEOM will be a place for all people around the world 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 deliver The Line on behalf of the nation remains resolute,” Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said on July 25, 2022 Press release.