Earlier this month, His Royal Highness Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Chairman of the NEOM Company Board of Directors, announced THE LINE, a revolution in urban living at NEOM, and a blueprint for how people and planet can co-exist in harmony.
According to NEOM, THE LINE is a never-before-seen approach to urbanisation – a 170 kilometre-belt of reimagined urban development in Saudi Arabia with multiple, hyper-connected communities, with natural and walkable spaces.
It is a model of urban design and liveability that puts people and planet in harmony for the 21st century and beyond. Built around nature, rather than over it, large areas of land will be preserved for conservation, supporting NEOM’s environment and rich heritage.
THE LINE will be a home for more than 1 million people from all over the world. It will create a platform for innovation and prosperous businesses, addressing some of the world’s most pressing challenges, like climate change, urban sprawl, traffic congestion and social disconnection.
The mixed-use communities have been designed on a human scale where liveability and health and wellbeing are prioritised, with everything you need only a 5-minute walk away.
THE LINE is supported by an invisible layer of infrastructure that is embedded with sustainable smart technology containing essential utilities and transportation services, generating care-free communities and public realms. This will increase efficiencies, enabling a low-cost regional hub for business that attracts the world’s biggest companies.
A cornerstone of Saudi Vision 2030 and an economic engine for the Kingdom, THE LINE will drive diversification and aims to contribute 380,000 jobs of the future and SAR180 billion (USD48 billion) to domestic GDP by 2030.
In announcing the project, His Royal Highness said: “Throughout history, cities were built to protect their citizens. After the Industrial Revolution, cities prioritised machines, cars and factories over people. In cities that are viewed as the world’s most advanced, people spend years of their lives commuting. By 2050, commute durations will double. By 2050, one billion people will have to relocate due to rising CO2 emissions and sea levels. 90 per cent of people breathe polluted air. 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?”
“Therefore, we need to transform the concept of a conventional city into that of a futuristic one,” His Royal Highness added.
“Today, as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of NEOM, I present to you THE LINE. A city of a million residents with a length of 170 kilometres that preserves 95 per cent of nature within NEOM, with zero cars, zero streets and zero carbon emissions.”
THE LINE is the first time in 150 years that a major urban development has been designed around people, not roads.
Walkability will define life on THE LINE – all essential daily services, such as schools, medical clinics, leisure facilities, as well as green spaces, will be within a five-minute walk. Ultra-high-speed transit and autonomous mobility solutions will make travel easier and give residents the opportunity to reclaim time to spend on health and wellbeing. It is expected no journey will be longer than 20 minutes.
THE LINE’s communities will be cognitive, powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI), continuously learning predictive ways to make life easier, creating time for both residents and businesses. An estimated 90 per cent of available data will be harnessed to enhance infrastructure capabilities far beyond the 1 per cent typically utilised in existing smart cities.
Redefining sustainability, THE LINE will comprise carbon-positive urban developments powered by 100 per cent clean energy, providing pollution-free, healthier and more sustainable environments for residents.
Construction of THE LINE will commence in Q1 of 2021.
THE LINE is one of the most complex and challenging infrastructure projects in the world and forms part of extensive development work already underway at NEOM.
NEOM is part of the world-class, diversified portfolio of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, one of the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world.
NEOM is an accelerator of human progress and a vision of what a New Future might look like. It is a region in northwest Saudi Arabia on the Red Sea being built from the ground up as a living laboratory – a place where entrepreneurship will chart the course for this New Future. NEOM states that it will be a destination and a home for people who dream big and want to be part of building a new model for exceptional liveability, creating thriving businesses, and reinventing environmental conservation.
NEOM will be the home and workplace to more than a million residents from around the world. It will include towns and cities, ports and enterprise zones, research centres, sports and entertainment venues, and tourist destinations.