Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Chairman of the NEOM Company Board of Directors, today announced THE LINE; a revolution in urban living at NEOM; and a blueprint for how people and planet can co-exist in harmony.
THE LINE, a 170km belt of hyper-connected future communities; without cars and roads and built around nature, is a direct response to some of the most pressing challenges facing humanity; today such as legacy infrastructure, pollution, traffic, and human congestion.
A cornerstone of Saudi Vision 2030; and an economic engine for the Kingdom, it will drive diversification; and aims to contribute 380,000 jobs of the future and SAR180 billion (USD48 bn) to domestic GDP by 2030.
Mohamed Bin Salman 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? for what should seven million people die every year because of pollution? Why should we lose one million people every year due to traffic accidents? And also why should we accept wasting years of our lives commuting?," he added.
"Therefore, we also 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 km that preserves 95% of nature within NEOM, with zero cars; zero streets and zero carbon emissions."
In general; THE LINE is the first time; markedly in 150 years that a major urban development has its design 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 also be within a five-minute walk.
Ultra-high-speed transit and autonomous mobility solutions additionally will make travel easier and give residents the opportunity to reclaim time to spend on health and wellbeing. In detail; no journey will be longer than 20 minutes.
THE LINE's communities will be cognitive, in power by Artificial Intelligence (AI), continuously learning predictive ways in order to make life easier, creating time for both residents and businesses.
An estimated 90% of available data is to enhance infrastructure capabilities far beyond the 1% typically utilized in existing smart cities.
Redefining sustainability, THE LINE will comprise carbon-positive urban developments powered by 100% clean energy; firstly providing pollution-free, secondly creates healthier and more sustainable environments for residents. Mixed-use communities will be built around nature, instead of over it.
NEOM's sectors of the future, headed by global industry leaders, are already addressing some of the world's most pressing challenges. They are pioneering a new marketplace for breakthrough innovations and also creating opportunities to attract talent, investors and partners to become part of its business ecosystem.
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. 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. As a hub for innovation, entrepreneurs, business leaders and companies will come to research, incubate and commercialize new technologies and enterprises in ground-breaking ways. Residents of NEOM will embody an international ethos and embrace a culture of exploration, risk-taking and diversity – all supported by a progressive law compatible with international norms and conducive to economic growth.