A city within a single building over 170 kilometers. The Line, Saudi Arabia’s project for a futuristic eco-city – News

The first images look like they came out of a promotional package linked to a sci-fi movie. In a landscape where the desert meets the sea, from where it is possible to see mountains, a long line appears that mirrors the arid image that surrounds it. Between the towers that extend there is a city where people and nature coexist.

Among images of what appears to be a Death Star, from Star Wars, full of hanging gardens, there is a real desire to realize a project that has been said to be daring. It’s called The Line, it’s a futuristic eco-city and Saudi Arabia wants to make it a reality.

The Line, in direct translation into Portuguese, is 170 kilometers long, 500 meters high, 200 meters wide and is expected to accommodate five million inhabitants, according to the latest data provided by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. It is designed to have no cars or carbon emissions and to run on 100% renewable energy. For the inhabitants to move around, there will be a high-speed train that allows you to go from one end of the city to the other in 20 minutes. Here, too, technology will play a key role, with artificial intelligence taking a leading role in the functioning of this unique ecosystem. It will be located in the Gulf of Aqaba, next to the Red Sea.

At the center of all this is the ambitious NEOM, a mega city presented as the heart of this project already in 2017, when the first lines of The Line were presented and highly questioned with proposals for sci-fi films with flying taxis and robots employed.

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But now, five years later, Mohammed bin Salman has shown that these were not just sketches. The ambition to create this highly sustainable city located not far from the Suez Canal, one of the most important strategic points of world trade, gave them color.

However, it is important to emphasize that the idea has undergone changes. Initially, this eco-city was to be a kind of Silicon Valley, capable of housing the companies of the future and boosting the Saudi economy and transforming the country into a world power. The objective seems to remain the same, only the form and ambition of the project have changed.

According to the most recent information, 1.2 million people are expected to live in NEOM by 2030. This number is expected to rise to nine million in 2045. With this, Saudi Arabia wants to have a springboard to increase its population from 34 million to 50 million by 2030 and to 100 million by 2040.

“That is the main objective of building NEOM, to increase the capacity of Saudi Arabia, to receive more citizens and more people in Saudi Arabia. And since we are doing this from scratch, why should we copy normal cities?”, asked Mohammed bin Salman.

The project is financed with 491 million euros from the Saudi government and the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, a sovereign wealth fund presided over by bin Salman himself, to which funds from local and international investors are added.

Despite the project’s delays point to it only being finished in 2030, the crown prince insists on the initial date: The Line and NEOM will be a reality in 2025.

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