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Out Of The Line

A city is going to be built by trimming down the hills, where no car would run as there would be no road for vehicles, and it would be the world’s first completely pollution free city. Saudi Arabia has started implementing this project, which has been termed The Line. According to the concerned authorities in Riyadh, if all goes well, the city would be built by 2024.

Talking to the media, a Saudi official (who wished to remain anonymous) has said that from above, it would look as if someone draws a line in the jungle. The city, with three layers, is being built in an area that is about 105 miles long. The uppermost layer would be above the ground, where there would be lanes only for pedestrians. The other two layers would be under the ground. The second layer would be built mainly for infrastructure monitoring, as it would have traffic lanes. Meanwhile, the high speed trains and other vehicles would use the third layer that would be at the bottom. The official has informed the press that the transportation layer, which would include a very fast railway system, would allow people to go from one of side of the city to the other in just 20 minutes, as the trains would maintain a speed of 512km per hour. It would help the authorities keep the top layer completely pollution free.

According to the Saudi official, the city would accommodate one million people. It has been designed in such a way so that people would be able to reach hospitals, schools, restaurants and other places in five minutes, he said. Furthermore, this city would be connected to the surrounding regions through the third layer transportation system.

The city has been divided into three layers to minimise the loss of natural resources, as it is being built mostly by reshaping the hills and forests that exist there, guaranteeing that the changes made would be less than minimal. The Saudi Government has invested USD 500 billion in this smart city project in Neom, Tabuk that would have no carbon emissions. Riyadh has expressed hope that successful implementation of the project would create at least 0.38 million jobs, and add USD 48 billion to the country’s GDP by the end of 2030.

This project is under the NEOM project, as The Line would be the first development in NEOM, a planned USD 500 billion city. The official has revealed that there would be recreational facilities, such as drone taxis, Jurassic Park (where robot dinosaurs would roam), in the car-free 170km-long linear city. The entire city would be monitored by Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology. The technology would not only record all the problems to be faced by the residents in their daily life, but would also help resolve those issues.

While unveiling the project on January 10, 2021, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman claimed that The Line would be powered entirely by renewable energy. It may be noted that the climate in Tabuk is much cooler and wetter than the rest of the country.

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