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First views of ‘The Line’, the 170-kilometer Saudi skyscraper

The futuristic city can be crossed from end to end in 20 minutes, it will house nine million inhabitants and its walls will be 500 meters high.

First views of ‘The Line’, the 170-kilometer Saudi skyscraper

Saudi Arabia has presented the design of an unprecedented city. The adjective ‘futuristic’ was born for projects like this. The Line, the name given to this planned city, looks like something out of a video game. It will be squeezed between two 170-kilometre-long mirrors, over 100 miles, and its inhabitants will live in the 200-meter-wide space, the length of two football fields. But hold on, this is only it is the beginning.

It will have skyscrapers 500 meters high and will be free of roads, cars and emissions. It intends to work with 100% renewable energy and wants to prioritize the well-being of people over transport and infrastructure. It will be able to house 9 million people and its surface area will be 34 square kilometres, more than twice the size of LAX.

Read about the thinnest skyscraper in the world, the Steinway Tower in New York.

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The project is committed to ensuring that all residents have all the necessary facilities within just a five-minute walk from their homes. If your friends live on the other side of ‘The Line’ you don’t have to worry: the project ensures that the 170 kilometers that the city measures can be crossed in just 20 minutes, but at the moment it has not been specified how.

If we compare it with real cities, it blows the mind. They speak of walls of 500 meters and the Empire State has 381. They speak of 9 million inhabitants, that’s more than New York City. They speak of 170 kilometers, around two miles less than there is between Richmond and Washington DC. And its promoters promise to traverese that distance in 20 minutes. Remarkable.

Partnership with Zero Gravity Urbanism

According to Neom’s statement, ‘TheLiners’ will be able to move in three dimensions: up, down and across. They have called this Zero Gravity Urbanism, which will combine “public parks and pedestrian areas, schools, homes and places for work, so that one can move effortlessly to reach all daily needs within five minutes.

“[We are] committed to a civilizational revolution that puts humans first based on a radical change in urban planning,” said Prince Mohammed bin Salman. “The designs revealed today for the city’s vertically layered communities will challenge the traditional flat, horizontal cities and create a model for nature preservation and enhanced human livability. THE LINE will tackle the challenges facing humanity in urban life today and will shine a light on alternative ways to live,”

In any event, the project creates a series of concerns about its viability. Architect Alejandro Csome has explained in a Twitter thread the doubts generated by using the same material to build ‘The Line’ in three different biomes (desert, mountain and valley). How difficult it would be for such a large city to have zero carbon emissions (especially during its construction) or the appearance of “flying trees” in the project presentation video are some of the issues he raise.