Saudi Crown Prince reveals NEOM's "The Line" 100% clean energy development

The Line will be a 170km linear development of artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled, future communities powered by 100% clean energy, and free of cars and streets

Saudi Crown Prince reveals NEOM's "The Line" 100% clean energy development

By Anup Oommen

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince and Chairman of the NEOM Company’s Board of Directors, HRH Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, has announced “The Line” development at the kingdom’s Public Investment Fund-backed (PIF) flagship $500bn NEOM gigaproject, which is being built from the ground up on an area covering 26,500km2.

The Line will be constructed as a 170km linear development of hyper-connected, artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled, future communities powered by 100% clean energy.

The future communities will be built around nature, free of cars and streets, in direct response to some of the most pressing challenges facing humanity today such as legacy infrastructure, pollution, and traffic congestion.

The Line is the first time in 150 years that a major urban development has been designed 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 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.

The Line’s communities will be cognitive, powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI), continuously learning predictive ways to make life easier, creating time for both residents and businesses. An estimated 90% of available data will be harnessed to enhance infrastructure capabilities far beyond the 1% typically utilised in existing smart cities.

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.

All energy in NEOM will be 100% renewable – from solar, wind and hydrogen-based power generation – ensuring clean and pollution-free urban environments.

The development aims to contribute 380,000 jobs and $48bn (SAR180bn) to the kingdom’s domestic GDP by 2030.

Construction will commence in Q1 2021, with The Line expected to be a cornerstone of the Saudi Vision 2030 and an economic engine for the kingdom, driving diversification.

Revealing the initiative, the Saudi Crown Prince HRH Mohammed 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? 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?

HRH Mohammed bin Salman 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% of nature within NEOM, with zero cars, zero streets, and zero carbon emissions.”

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 creating opportunities to attract talent, investors and partners to become part of its business ecosystem.

Originally published at Mechanical electrical & plumbing middle east