A Look into NEOM

by Editor

The Line, the newest massive construction project in Saudi Arabia, sparked curiosity when it was presented last month.

Now, a Jeddah exhibition is giving Saudis living at home their first look inside.

In a now-viral video of Makkah Governor Prince Khalid Al Faisal viewing the exhibition, he declared that he intended to be the first to reserve lodging in the megacity.

The idea of a skyscraper that would be 170 kilometers long, 200 meters wide, and more than 300 meters tall, establishing a new linear city that would house nine million people, excited members of the public.

Ayah, a tourist from Lebanon, said that the tour guides answered all of her questions about The Line in detail.

“I particularly loved the fact we will have a museum, sports stadium and even the cool-looking yoga studio overlooking Neom’s landscape,” she said.

The project’s designers want to create a sustainable, eco-city where people may live, work, and spend time within minutes of one another. They believe that the project’s short, linear footprint will minimize its impact on the surrounding environment. A high-speed rail network and other modes of transportation will be a part of the project.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said this about The Line: “The designs revealed for the city’s vertically layered communities will challenge the traditional flat, horizontal cities and create a model for nature preservation and improved human liveability.”

The Line will be constructed near Neom, Saudi Arabia, on the Red Sea as part of a megaproject that offers residents a fresh way of life.

The varied landscape includes snow-capped mountains with vistas of the Gulf of Aqaba and vast red desert plains.

According to a spokesman at the show, 13% of all trade travels via the Red Sea, and 40% of the globe is reachable in less than six hours by plane.

The exhibition includes sketches, scale models, and concept art for the idea, which depicts an urban region with expansive, multi-leveled zones that are mottled with sunlight and shadow. According to the designers, the building’s structure and layout will offer the GCC’s lowest temperatures and natural ventilation.

The Line’s organizers claim that reinventing urban life in 3D is essential to halting unsightly urban development.

The 15-person groups participating in the guided tours, which are led by young Saudi women, see how people will live and move across The Line separating neighborhoods.

One of the tour guides stated, “The modules are designed to house up to 80,000 people in close proximity to their work,” and that leisure, education, and health facilities would also be accessible nearby through high-speed rail lines that would take less than 20 minutes to travel the entire distance.

“For those who say that this project is too ambitious, I would tell them that if humanity is not visionary at this precise moment, in which we are facing the challenges of climate change, lack of human interaction, and pollution, when are we going to be ambitious?” said Antoni Vives, chief urban planning officer. “Certainly, we’re thinking bold because we are reflecting on the level of the challenges that the world has today.”

According to the people behind it, construction of The Line is ambitious. The facade will be one long structure instead of a group of buildings, which will cause designers and teams on the ground a lot of trouble.

“We will be prototyping equipment, connecting equipment autonomously and training people to use it using virtual — as well as real-world — methods,” said Roger Nickells, who heads the design and construction department.

To put it all together, they will use 3D printing, robots, and more traditional building methods.

We need application at scale, not just invention, said Mr. Nickells. The construction of Neom and other developments in the area will bring people from many cultures together.

Neom also wants to be the first place in a desert to grow its own food using integrated systems.

According to Dr. Juan Carlos Motamayor, director of Neom’s food division, “[Neom] will be] locally producing the food that makes environmental and economic sense.”

Neom will stand for a beneficial cycle, cultivating nutrient-dense food while providing inhabitants with dietary services according to their needs.

Neom chief executive Nadhmi Al Nasr said: “The heart of Neom is The Line. I believe when we share this with the world, the reception will be [that] this is a revolution.”

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