Could a narrow 200-metre-wide, 170-km-long skyscraper-city that resembles a desert moon base revolutionise modern living?
Saudi Arabia’s The Line project will be an oasis of lush plants and water features, enclosed by walls that tower 500 metres above sea level.
Situated on the Red Sea, the city will cost hundreds of billions to construct, have an ideal climate all year round, and aims to house nine million people.
Run on 100 per cent green power, the city will prioritise human wellbeing over transportation and infrastructure.
Despite the big dreams of its builders, some critics have their doubts the project will be a success.
How the city will revolutionise daily life
20-minute end-to-end trips on high-speed rail
Cars and roads will not be allowed
Tiny 34 square km footprint to preserve surrounding land
What will life be like in the city?
The project forms part of NEOM, a $717 billion business zone in Saudi Arabia’s northwest which at 26,500 square kilometres will be more than twice the size of Sydney.
Its creator is Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who has shown indications of reforming Saudi Arabia’s strict religious governance, particularly when it comes to women’s rights.
Residents will be subject to the same rules as the rest of the country, but the settlement will be deemed a special economic zone.
Saudi Arabia was once largely closed to non-religious travel but under the prince it is aiming to attract 100 million visitors a year by 2030 and tourists will be encouraged to visit The Line.
Those living in the city will have access to all necessary facilities within a five-minute walk.
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