A daring architectural project is being carried out in Saudi Arabia. Called “The Line”, this project aims to build an ultra-futuristic and dystopian city in the middle of the desert. The first images of this ambitious project have just been revealed, giving a glimpse of what life could be like in such a city.
NEOM: an ultra-futuristic city in the heart of the desert
The NEOM project, led by Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman, aims to build a continuous city-building on a strip of 168 km, with a height of 500 meters and a width of 200 meters. This gigantic structure, which is expected to be taller than the Empire State Building or the Eiffel Tower, will be located in the middle of the desert.
The particularity of this city is that it will be completely confined and will have its own rules. No highway will be built to allow car traffic. Only a high-speed train will allow you to travel from one end of the city to the other in less than 20 minutes. In addition, residents will be able to do their shopping in less than 5 minutes thanks to this TGV.
An ambitious project with potentially serious consequences
If The Line project is part of Saudi Arabia’s “Vision 2030” plan, which aims to improve the living conditions of the population and reduce its ecological footprint, it also raises many questions. Indeed, the construction of this ultra-futuristic city will force around 20,000 people from the Howeitat tribe to leave their ancestral territory.
This situation gives a negative image of the project, especially since human rights in Saudi Arabia are often singled out. The city’s future residents, who will be called “Neomians”, will be subject to strict rules regarding security, defense and border protection.
A glimpse of the future?
Despite the controversies, The Line project offers a fascinating glimpse into what the urban planning of the future could be. The images revealed show intensive use of three dimensions for the construction of this megacity. Nature will be omnipresent, with optimized management of temperature, air and light.
The Saudi crown prince said the designs revealed for the city’s vertical communities will challenge traditional flat, horizontal cities and create a model for preserving nature and improving human habitability.
In short, The Line project is a bold bet on the future of urban planning. It remains to be seen whether this futuristic and dystopian vision of the city can come to fruition and whether it will be accepted by those who will live there.
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