AFP

Saudi Arabia to build an eco-city without cars, roads and carbon emissions


Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, chairman of the Neom megaproject, has announced plans to build the Line’s first AI-powered smart settlement.

AFP

It will be a community of the future – without cars, roads and carbon emissions. The construction plan is part of the $ 500 billion Neom megaproject. The project provides a vision of how the country will develop in the “post-oil period.” The goal of the project is to ensure the coexistence of the planet and man in complete harmony.

The Line is a pedestrian-friendly “belt of hyper-connected future communities without cars and roads, built in the middle of nature.” The length of The Line development will be 170 km. According to a published press release, the settlement will have 1 million inhabitants by 2030. By this time, 380 thousand jobs will be created here. Infrastructure construction will cost from $ 100 billion to $ 200 billion, the crown prince said in a Sunday address.

As you know, the creation of Neom is an important part of Prince Mohammed’s plan to diversify the economy of the world’s largest oil exporter. Announced in 2017, the global smart city megaproject covers over 10,000 square miles (25.9 km2) in a remote area in the northwest of the country. The project’s website describes the city as an “innovative and daring dream” that will become a hub for new technologies and businesses.

However, since its launch, the project has faced skepticism and critics, as well as protests from citizens forced to move to make way for construction. Analysts doubt the plan is unrealistic and will fail to attract the investment needed in the region, which already has well-developed transport and business hubs in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar.

According to the Crown Prince, a bullet train will be built near The Line. Any journey through the urban massif will take no more than 20 minutes.

It will also host one of the largest airports in the world, Neom executive director Nadhmi Al-Nasr said in an interview with Al-Arabiya TV. He did not give a timetable for its construction, noting only that the airport would be the last element of the line.

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