Inside The Line: Crown Prince discusses Saudi’s ambitious project

Architects detail for the first time the creation of futuristic megacity
Inside The Line: Crown Prince discusses Saudi’s ambitious project
The Line (Photos from Saudi Press Agency)

In a recent documentary, Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, addressed doubts surrounding The Line and asserted that he was personally involved in the development of the futuristic city.

The Discovery Channel documentary, titled “The Line: Saudi Arabia’s City of the Future in NEOM,” showcases an interview with the Crown Prince who played a significant role in the project.

According to the Crown Prince, the dual 170-kilometer-long skyscrapers in The Line, which is part of his broader NEOM development, were his brainchild.

Read more: $1 trn Saudi development pipeline reinforces Vision 2030’s ambitious goals

The Line Saudi

During the documentary, the Crown Prince remarked that many people claim that several projects in Saudi Arabia are too ambitious and cannot accomplish. “They can keep saying that and we can keep proving them wrong.”

The location of the mega city is ‘untouched’ and situated in the northwest of the country,” as described by the Crown Prince, with the Public Investment Fund (PIF) financing the project.

His Highness stated that Saudi has the stability, infrastructure, land, and financial resources required to pursue opportunities. As he put it, “We have the cash, we have the land, we have the stability, we are a G20 country.”

Moreover, the Crown Prince said the creation of the city was imperative to accommodate Saudi Arabia’s expanding population. He stated that the population of Saudi Arabia would increase from 33 million presently to between 50 and 55 million by 2030. He also noted that by that year, the current infrastructure of Saudi would reach its maximum capacity, prompting the need for a new city.

New Babylon

Architects such as Thom Mayne, Peter Cook, and Reinier de Graaf provided insights about The Line, the planned megacity, in the new documentary. The film features interviews with various architects and members of the NEOM team. Besides, Mayne, the founder of Morphosis, expressed his enthusiasm for the project, stating that he couldn’t think of anyone who wouldn’t want to be a part of it. Cook, the co-founder of Cook Haffner Architecture Platform, referred to the city as a potential “new Babylon” if it succeeds. The documentary marks the first time that most of the architects associated with the new city have discussed it publicly at length, as secrecy primarily surrounded its development.

The Line Saudi

140 modules

The 45-minute documentary unveils that the city, presently under construction, will divide into 140 modules, and each module will measure 800 meters long, accommodating 80,000 people. Different architecture studios, selected from a pool of 20, will design the first five modules. Each studio will be accountable for developing its own module and bringing The Line to life.

Moreover, the smart city’s complete reliance on clean energy signifies a significant step towards Saudi Arabia’s transition to a non-oil-based economy. By prioritizing walkability, clean energy, and technology, this futuristic development aims to tackle the traffic, pollution, and infrastructure challenges that often overshadow urban life in traditional cities, offering a new way of living.

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