The Line: The city of the future in Neom

Saudi Arabia has unveiled the designs of ‘The Line’, dubbed the city of the future in Neom. It features 200 m wide, 170 km long and 500 m above sea level, aimed to accommodate up to nine million residents and will be built on a footprint of 34 sq km.

The designs embody “how urban communities will be in the future in an environment free from roads, cars and emissions,” said Neom. It will run on 100% renewable energy and prioritise people’s health and well-being over transportation and infrastructure as in traditional cities. It puts nature ahead of development and will contribute to preserving 95% of Neom’s land.

The Line will reduce the infrastructure footprint and create “never-before-seen” efficiencies in city functions,” added Neom. Its ideal climate all year round will ensure that residents can enjoy surrounding nature when walking around. Residents will also have access to all facilities in The Line within a five-minute walk, in addition to a high-speed rail with an end-to-end transit of 20 minutes.

In January last year, His Royal Highness (HRH) Mohammed bin Salman, crown prince and chairman of the Neom board of directors, launched the initial idea and vision of The Line, which redefines the concept of urban development and what cities of the future should look like.

“At The Line’s launch last year, we committed to a civilizational revolution that puts humans first based on a radical change in urban planning,” he said. “The designs revealed today for the city’s vertically layered communities will challenge the traditional flat, horizontal cities and create a model for nature preservation and enhanced human liveability. The Line will tackle the challenges facing humanity in urban life today and will shine a light on alternative ways to live.”

“We cannot ignore the liveability and environmental crises facing our world’s cities, and Neom is at the forefront of delivering new and imaginative solutions to address these issues,” continued HRH. “Neom is leading a team of the brightest minds in architecture, engineering and construction to make the idea of building upwards a reality.

“Neom will be a place for all people from across the globe 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 delivering The Line on behalf of the nation remains resolute.”

Zero Gravity Urbanism

The Line offers a new approach to urban design, explained Neom. The idea of layering city functions vertically while giving people the possibility of moving seamlessly in three dimensions (up, down or across) to access them is a concept referred to as Zero Gravity Urbanism.

Different from just tall buildings, this concept layers public parks and pedestrian areas, schools, homes and places for work, so that people can move effortlessly to reach all daily needs within five minutes. The Line will also have an outer mirror facade that provides its unique character, blending with nature.

According to Neom, the development will involve a team of world-renowned architects and engineers. The city’s design will be completely digitised, and the construction industrialised to a large degree by significantly advancing construction technologies and manufacturing processes.

The announcement of The Line’s designs is a continuation of Neom’s progress in the development of its flagship projects such as Oxagon, its reimagined manufacturing and innovation city; and Trojena, its global mountain tourism destination that will offer the Arabian Gulf’s first outdoor skiing; as well as the launch of two of Neom’s subsidiaries: Enowa, its energy, water and hydrogen company; and the Neom Tech & Digital Company.

All images: Neom