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A Smart, Sustainable Futuristic City With No Cars and No Roads Is Starting to Take Shape

While the world is pushing for environmentally friendly cars, some radical projects are pleading for no cars at all. Perhaps one of the largest and most ambitious ones is called The Line, part of a futuristic city-state planned to be built in Saudi Arabia.
The Line is a unique smart, sustainable city developed along a three-layered spine 6 photos
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HRH Prince Mohamed Bin Salman announced this project at the beginning of 2021, presented as a unique cluster of “hyper-connected” communities along a central spine, based on three layers: a pedestrian surface layer, where there will be zero cars, an intermediate service layer, and a base layer for underground high-speed, emissions-free transportation. The Line has already started taking shape, as The Daily Mail reports, with the first machines tunneling through the mountains.

The Line is part of NEOM, a large-scale project that envisions a futuristic city-state that would be 100% sustainable, unfolding over 10,000 square miles in the Tabuk province of Saudi Arabia. NEOM is meant to become a high-tech hub, as well as a major touristic attraction. Within this impressive urban development, the Line is planned to run along a 105-mile (170 km) area as a type of city with zero cars and zero streets, preserving 95% of the surrounding natural environment.

At the surface level, the one million future residents will have access to all essential services within walking distance. Everything will be powered by renewable energy. All logistics and deliveries will be conducted underground, at the “invisible” middle layer of the Line. Finally, ultra-high-speed trains, controlled by Artificial Intelligence, will ensure passenger and cargo transportation at the base level.

According to the NEOM project, this is an “unprecedented approach to urban design,” helping people “reclaim” the space that is typically occupied by cars and congested roads. NEOM aims to become the world’s largest carbon-free urban system, incorporating various types of renewable energy, as well as the latest technology. This massive city-state is estimated to cost around $500 billion.

With the Line’s construction having kicked off, the first residents of this three-layered community cluster could start settling in as soon as 2024. It will take longer for the huge NEOM city-state to be completed, but tourists will be able to visit it in the near future.

 
 
 
 
 

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