JEDDAH: Saudi officials and citizens have welcomed the Kingdom’s revolutionary zero carbon city, announced on Sunday by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The city — named “The Line” — will be a car-free city within Saudi Arabia’s futuristic NEOM business hub along the Red Sea coast.
The construction is set to start in the first quarter of this year. It will allow 1 million residents to live in a “zero cars, zero streets and zero carbon emissions” city but around nature.
“It is a new era of civilization, a new model for a city which is clean, proper and with zero carbon,” Saudi economist Mazen Al-Sudairi told Arab News welcoming this major step. “This will improve the efficiency of humankind.”
He added that Saudi Arabia is moving toward a new data-based civilization as compared to the older civilization, which was built on the flow of water and vegetation.
Moreover, Al-Sudairi believes that this model will attract more foreign direct investment and provide a tech-based future.
Saudi Minister of Communication and Information Technology, Abdullah Alswaha, said on Twitter: “Saudi Arabia enters the great book of history as an innovative force for the 21st century.”
He noted that the city is moving to green and renewable energy, stressing that the region can exploit solar energy and winds by more than 70 percent, which makes NEOM one of the top three places around the world for energy efficiency.
In addition, NEOM also has the capability to produce green hydrogen, he told Al-Arabiya on Monday.
• The construction is set to start in the first quarter of this year.
• The city will receive huge cloud computing investments, amounting to more than $1.5 billion.
• It will allow 1 million residents to live in a ‘zero cars, zero streets and zero carbon emissions’ city but around nature.
He added that the futuristic city will receive huge cloud computing investments, amounting to more than $1.5 billion.
The crown prince said the backbone of investment would come from Saudi Arabia and the Kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund — the Public Investment Fund — and local and international investors for the NEOM project.
Saudi Arabia has placed foreign investment as a main focus in its plans for economic development.
Even in light of the global economic tension resulting from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, foreign investment in the Kingdom jumped by 2 percent in the third quarter of 2020, Al-Eqtisadiah reported.
Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman, said on Twitter: “It is one of the major projects that places people first and employs technology to serve societies.”
The project is a direct response to some of the vital challenges facing humanity, such as infrastructure, pollution, traffic and human congestion, NEOM said.Volume 90%
Education Minister Hamad bin Mohammed Al-Asheikh also welcomed the announcement saying: “The crown prince’s global vision for The Line places the humans’ life, health, environment, productivity and entertainment first.
“The project is characterized by the principles of global humanity, economic diversity and artificial intelligence, and the enhancement of research and innovation opportunities for the future industry.”
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince reveals project ‘THE LINE’ in futuristic city of NEOM
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reveals The Line Project in NEOM. (Screengrab)Rawad Taha and Ismaeel Naar, Al Arabiya EnglishSunday 10 January 2021Text size AAA
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of NEOM, announced the launch of “THE LINE” in the city of NEOM, a new model for the future of urban societies aimed at ensuring balance with nature.
THE LINE is a new 170-kilometer (km) belt of hyper-connected communities, designed without cars or roads and in concert with nature. The communities will be powered by artificial intelligence technology designed to learn and improve the lives of residents and businesses.
The project is part of NEOM and the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 plan, an ambitious program designed to diversify Saudi Arabia’s economy. THE LINE will generate around 380,000 job opportunities and contribute 180 billion riyals ($48 billion) to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030, according to a statement.
“Throughout history, cities were built to protect their citizens. After the Industrial Revolution, cities prioritized 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 percent of people breathe polluted air,” the Crown Prince said in the statement.
“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?” the Crown Prince added.
“Therefore, we need to transform the concept of a conventional city into that of a futuristic one … 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 km that preserves 95 percent of nature within NEOM, with zero cars, zero streets and zero carbon emissions.”
One of the largest airports in the world
Nadhmi al-Nasr, CEO of NEOM, later told Al Arabiya that THE LINE would also involve construction of a new airport, and that it would be one of the largest in the world.
“Three years ago, the Saudi Crown Prince launched the initial vision of NEOM, a dream back in 2017. The world has been asking what we have been doing over the course of the last three years. We worked for more than two years to change this dream and vision into a set of strategical plans. The team worked with experts from all around in the world to ensure that this vision is turned into strategies,” al-Nasr added.
THE LINE has also been designed to redefine the concept of urban development, putting people at the center, instead of road infrastructure – a first for such a project in 150 years.
THE LINE is a 170km belt of hyper-connected future communities, without cars and roads and built around nature. (NEOM)
Rather than normal city commutes, ultra-high-speed transit and autonomous mobility solutions have been designed to reduce travel time, and make it easier for residents to focus on their health. The longest journey in the development is expected to take no longer than 20 minutes, according to the statement.
With sustainability at the heart of the NEOM project, THE LINE will be 100 percent powered by clean energy, for a pollution-free, cleaner, and more sustainable environment.
Construction is set to get underway in the first quarter of this year as part of ongoing development work at the NEOM site.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced the launch of NEOM project in 2017. The city is positioned to become a high-tech, next generation city, and global center for innovation, trade and creativity in the Kingdom.
The first three characters of the projects name, NEO, are derived from the Latin word for “new,” while the last character, M, is an abbreviation of the Arabic word “Mostaqbal,” meaning “future”.
A coastline of NEOM, cross-border city in the Tabuk Province of northwestern Saudi Arabia. (NEOM)
NEOM is one of Saudi Arabia’s mega-projects, other examples include the Red Sea Development Project and Qiddiya, all aimed at boosting the Kingdom’s tourism sector – a central tenant of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 plan that aims to transform the country’s economy for a post-hydrocarbon age.
The city’s 26,500 square km (10,230 square mile) development is located in the northwestern Tabuk Province and will span from Saudi Arabia’s Egyptian and Jordanian borders, rendering NEOM the first private zone to span to three countries. More than $500 billion has been pledged to complete the project by the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund, on of the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world.
Saudi Crown Prince unveils ‘The Line’ hyper-connected project at NEOM
Construction of THE LINE will commence in Q1 of 2021. The 170km belt is touted to be one of the most complex infra projects in the world
CW ArchivesNEOMby Disha Dadlani11 Jan 2021
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince and Chairman of NEOM’s Board of Directors, HRH Mohammed bin Salman, has inaugurated THE LINE at the kingdom’s $500bn NEOM gigaproject. THE LINE is a 170km belt of hyper-connected future communities, without cars and roads and built around nature.
THE LINE symbolises a revolution in urban living at NEOM, and serves as a blueprint for how people and planet can co-exist in harmony. In addition, it serves as a direct response to some of the most pressing challenges facing humanity today such as legacy infrastructure, pollution, traffic, and human congestion.
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.
Communities powered by AI
THE LINE’s communities will be cognitive, powered by artificial intelligence (AI). An estimated 90% of available data will be harnessed to enhance infrastructure capabilities far beyond the 1% typically utilised in existing smart cities.
THE LINE will serve as a cornerstone of Saudi Vision 2030 and an economic engine for the kingdom; and will aim to contribute 380,000 jobs of the future and $48bn (SAR180bn) to domestic GDP by 2030.
Constructing THE LINE
Construction of THE LINE will commence in Q1 of 2021. The belt is touted to be one of the most complex and challenging infrastructure projects in the world and forms part of extensive development work already underway at the kingdom’s Public Investment Fund (PIF)-backed NEOM.
Redefining sustainability, THE LINE will comprise carbon-positive urban developments powered by 100% clean energy, providing pollution-free, healthier and more sustainable environments for residents. Mixed-use communities will be built around nature, instead of over it.
Commenting on THE LINE at NEOM, HRH the Saudi Crown Prince said: “Throughout history, cities were built to protect their citizens. After the Industrial Revolution, cities prioritized 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% of people breathe polluted air. Why should we sacrifice nature for the sake of development?
We need to transform the concept of a conventional city into that of a futuristic one. THE LINE is a city of a million residents with a length of 170km that preserves 95% of nature within NEOM, with zero cars, zero streets and zero carbon emissions.”