The Incredibly Futuristic “Zero-Gravity” Line City Has Begun Its Construction in Saudi Arabia and It’s Looking Utopian

Amidst all the sustainable projects that exist today, there is one that has emerged that looks as though it came straight out of your favorite science fiction novel. This new effort will stretch like a line going straight into the Red Sea… literally.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has decided to build a new city in the Saudi Arabian desert that will be called The Line, stretching 105 miles with a width of 200 meters and a height of 500 meters above sea level. It will be home to approximately 1.5 million residents by the year 2030 who will not be able to drive your standard vehicle, but will commute primarily using a high speed rail that will take 20 minutes to go from end to end.

This city, which has already begun its construction, is part of the Neom project, which is known for a multitude of sustainable efforts. As an article on NPR points out, this isn’t the first time governments attempted to combat global warming by building a “green city”. Brasilia, Putrajaya, and Masdar were also cities that were constructed with similar means in mind.

Nevertheless, The Line is by far the most… well… utopian, earning names like “The World’s First Zero-Gravity City” and “The World’s First Vertical City” with it’s striking mirror walls.

Climate-wise, it won’t feel like the Saudi-Arabian desert, but will have technology to influence the temperature all year round.

But Why The Line Design?

Well, according to Neom, it’s to consolidate city life to reduce our carbon blueprint and greenhouse gas emissions. The city will be designed to have all basic amenities within a 5 minute walk from your front door, utilize AI technology, and have renewable water supplies.

Who Are The Architects In Charge?

Well, we don’t actually know. The mirror aesthetic and the blueprints are incredible features, but the architects that are to thank for these designs have not been disclosed by the Saudi government… curious, indeed. Dezeen alleged that the American architecture firm, Morphosis,  had something to do with this.

What Do They Mean “Zero-Gravity”?

We’re not talking about floating outside the earth’s atmosphere or building into space here. What they mean is that homes will build upward and overhead, and they’ll be connected by bridges so that they’re easy to access and more environmentally sustainable. Yes, you read that right. Much like Habitat 67 in Montreal, homes will be stacked.

A City Like No Other

“AI Technology”? What Is That?

AI means “artificial intelligence” and it’s more common than you think (Not like in the hit film, Ex Machina or the AI that draws prompts). Think about your virtual travel booking agent or self-driving cars, for example. The Line will be a “smart city”, according to an article on Bayut.

Bayut image of Where The Line is being built and the location of Neom

The Future Is Here! What’s Next, Smart Hover Cars?

Maybe! 2030 is incredibly soon and an ambitious year for this city’s completion (even though it was already delayed by 5 years). Construction just next to the Red Sea has already began. As to who its residents will be, we still don’t know.

The Line takes on the clean, utopian chicness like science fiction cities in Bregna (Aeon Flux), Sanary-sur-Mer (Brave New World), or even Kowloon Walled City in the hit new video game, Stray. This begs many questions: Are we on the brink of a dystopia–given all the issues humanity has to resolve, or a utopia– with urban development to paving the way for environmentally friendly cities?

Is the line leading the way for urban planning? It’s walls eerily stretch to heights greater than the Empire State Building. With so many viral outbreaks and recent weather disasters, what could this mean for the future of city planning and sustainable efforts? Finally, who will have the luxury of living in the world’s first sustainable utopia?

Madrid-based traveler, visual and performing artist, and content writer.

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