Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Saudi Arabia Presents ‘The Line,’ an Icon for Nature Conservation

Saudi Arabia Presents ‘The Line,’ an Icon for Nature Conservation

Tuesday, 12 January, 2021 - 08:15
The Line pedestrian city in NEOM is the first model for preserving the planet in the world. (SPA)

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s unveiling of plans to build a huge new zero-carbon city at NEOM, a mega project and a key pillar of Kingdom Vision 2030, has put the Kingdom at the forefront of countries pursuing the establishment of modern cities.

Located in northwestern Saudi Arabia, the project named “The Line”, will be home to a million people and have no cars and no streets, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said.

Building The Line is set to cost between $100 to 200 billion. The Crown Prince confirmed that the backbone of investment would come from Saudi Arabia and the Kingdom's sovereign wealth fund – the Public Investment Fund (PIF) – as well as local and international investors for the NEOM project.

Positive reactions towards the new project flooded social media platforms.

According to the Crown Prince, the project was announced after three years of planning.

More so, he confirmed that communities at The Line will be powered by Artificial Intelligence and the city will comprise carbon-positive urban developments powered by completely clean energy.

The project will be an economic engine for the Kingdom and will drive diversification in line with the Vision 2030 reform program.

Construction of the revolutionary city will preserve 95% of nature within NEOM and will commence in the first quarter of this year.

The city will be a 170-kilometer belt of “hyper-connected future communities,” and will be built around the natural environment, confirmed the Crown Prince.

“We need to transform the concept of a conventional city into that of a futuristic one,” he added at an event to launch the city.

“By 2050, one billion people will have to relocate due to rising CO2 emissions and sea levels. 90% of people breathe polluted air,” the crown prince said.

“Why should we sacrifice nature for the sake of development? Why should seven million people die every year because of pollution? Why should we lose one million people every year due to traffic accidents? And why should we accept wasting years of our lives commuting?” he asked.

The pedestrian city will have services such as schools, health centers and green spaces, as well as high-speed public transportation. It also promises that everything anyone could need would be only a five-minute walk away.

Editor Picks