Dubbed as ‘the future of urban living’, The Line is an idea like no other, ultimately compacting entire neighborhoods into a 5% equivalent of the land space they would usually encompass. Set to be 170km long and 500m above sea level, there is certainly no hiding this giant structure.
Announced just over a year ago, the latest technological development to come out of Saudi Arabia has officially started construction, meaning we are one step closer to a whole new way of living. Pushing forward with the zero carbon emissions initiative, there will be a noticeable lack of cars, replaced instead by their own ‘100% sustainable transport system’.
The theme of environmentalism is carried out throughout the project’s plans, with the design protecting and preserving 95% of nature and land due to its immensely compacted design. The mirrored exterior also acts as a spotlight for the natural beauty around the building, not wishing to take away the sights around it. As press photos suggest, the line will cross onto the red sea and travel through a variety of terrains, including deserts and snow-topped mountains, but promises not to affect pre-existing natural settlements.
Housed in Neom, Northwest Saudi Arabia, it is expected that 9 million people will be able to live in the 34-square-kilometer space, making it the largest inhabited area with such a small footprint. Speaking on the project, HRH Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman identified that The Line’s invention comes as a means to aid the livability and environmental crises at hand. He said “We committed to a civilizational revolution that puts humans first based on a radical change in urban planning… The Line will tackle the challenges facing humanity in urban life today and will shine a light on alternative ways to live.”
Hopeful that The Line will be complete within the next decade, HRH continued: “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.”
With the concept being so strikingly modern, it’s unsurprising that The Line has already been a target of concerns and criticisms. Many have taken to social media to identify how scarily dystopian the building feels, with it being compared to the likes of Divergent and The Hunger Games. There have also been comments surrounding the developmental costs, totaling $1 trillion, an amount that arguably could be put to better use across different struggling sectors of the world.
For now, all that’s left to do is sit back and await the fate of the newest way to live. Let’s hope it’s as successful as intended.