The world’s first zero-gravity vertical city at neom, saudi arabia
In 2021, Saudi Arabia announced plans for THE LINE, a 170 km belt of communities connected without the need for cars or roads (see previous coverage here). His Royal Highness Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Chairman of the NEOM Board of Directors, has now unveiled the designs of THE LINE, offering a more detailed look into the most important characteristics of the world’s first zero-gravity vertical city. Located in NEOM, a destination being built in the Tabuk Province in northwestern Saudi Arabia, the smart city will be only 200 meters wide, 170 kilometers long and 500 meters above sea level.
‘At THE LINE’s launch last year, we committed to a civilizational revolution that puts humans first based on a radical change in urban planning,’ HRH Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said. ‘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.’
all images courtesy of NEOM
The designs of THE LINE UNVEIL a new approach to urban design
The designs of THE LINE reveal NEOM’s vision of how urban communities will be in the future, in an environment free from roads, cars and emissions. The city is set to eventually accommodate nine million residents and will be built on a footprint of 34 square kilometers, which is unheard of when compared to other cities of similar capacity. This in turn will reduce the infrastructure footprint and create never-before-seen efficiencies in city functions. THE LINE is set to run on 100% renewable energy, prioritizing people’s health and well-being over transportation and infrastructure. Engineered with hyper proximity in mind, key amenities will always be within a five-minute walk, in addition to a high-speed rail with an end-to-end transit of 20 minutes. Meanwhile, nature is never more than two minutes away, and, in fact, the design plans to preserve 95% of NEOM’s land.
Offering a new approach to urban design, THE LINE is built around the idea of layering city functions vertically while giving people the possibility of moving seamlessly in three dimensions (up, down or across) to access them is a concept referred to as Zero Gravity Urbanism. Public parks and pedestrian areas, schools, homes and places for work are layered vertically, allowing citizens to move effortlessly and reach all daily needs within five minutes. The city’s exterior will be clad in a mirror facade, which will provide its unique character and allow it to blend with nature. Its interior, ‘built to create extraordinary experiences and magical moments’, will be created by a team of world-renowned architects and engineers, led by NEOM.
unveiling the world’s first zero-gravity vertical city
making the idea of building upwards a reality
The city’s design will be completely digitized, and the construction industrialized to a large degree by significantly advancing construction technologies and manufacturing processes. The announcement of THE LINE’s designs is a continuation of NEOM’s progress in the development of its flagship projects such as OXAGON, its reimagined manufacturing and innovation city; and TROJENA, its global mountain tourism destination that will offer the Arabian Gulf’s first outdoor skiing; as well as the launch of two of NEOM’s subsidiaries: ENOWA, its energy, water and hydrogen company; and the NEOM Tech & Digital Company.
‘We cannot ignore the livability and environmental crises facing our world’s cities, and NEOM is at the forefront of delivering new and imaginative solutions to address these issues,’ HRH Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman states. ‘NEOM is leading a team of the brightest minds in architecture, engineering and construction to make the idea of building upwards a reality. It will be a place for all people from across the globe to make their mark on the world in creative and innovative ways. NEOM remains one of the most important projects of Saudi Vision 2030, and our commitment to delivering THE LINE on behalf of the nation remains resolute.’
THE LINE will be 200 meters wide, 170 kilometers long and 500 meters above sea level