Neom, Tabuk, Saudi Arabia
“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 upward a reality,” states Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince.
Saudi Arabia’s government has released visuals of a 170-kilometer-long skyscraper as part of the NEOM project, named The Line, a reimagined, futuristic urban development linking the coast of the Red Sea to the mountains and upper valleys of northwest Saudi Arabia.
This compact structure, 200 meters wide and 500 meters above sea level represents a social and economic experiment.
The city aims to be zero-carbon, through the elimination of carbon-intensive infrastructures like cars and roads and will operate on 100% renewable energy, including the operations of its industries.
The purpose of the project is to redefine the concept of urban development and what cities of the future should look like.
According to the visuals, two parallel wall-like structures enclosing an open area between them.
On the outside, the Line will be clad in a mirror façade, that provides its unique character and, according to its planners, a more subtle insertion in the natural landscape.
The interior will be built to accommodate buildings, layers of public parks, pedestrian areas, schools, homes, and places for work.
The concept is described as “Zero Gravity Urbanism” by its creators. Rising 500 meters above sea level, this structure would become the 12th highest skyscraper in the world, and by far the longest.
The Line is planned to accommodate 9 million residents on a footprint of just 34 square kilometers.
The option to reduce the footprint also reduces the supporting infrastructure.
The Line will offer immediate and uninterrupted access to nature within a two-minute walk through its diverse open spaces, suspended on multiple levels.
Equitable access to pristine views of the surrounding natural landscape, mountains, and sky – for all – avoiding urban sprawl thanks to a reduced infrastructure footprint.
The functional units for residential, retail, and leisure areas are arranged based on the principle of the five-minute city so that residents can access by foot all necessary amenities.
In addition, a high-speed rail will run the length of the megastructure to ensure end-to-end transit within 20 minutes.
To ensure the establishment of microclimatic spaces, the environment has been carefully designed to allow for an optimal balance of sunlight, shade, and natural ventilation.
Furthermore, the green open spaces throughout the city will further enhance the comfort of those living, working, and visiting here.
The Line project is part of Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia’s plan to transition from an oil-based economy to a knowledge-based economy.