In Saudi Arabia they call it “The Line” and promise it will be one of the great projects boosting Riad’s bid to host Expo 2030, the Universal Exhibition that the Saudi capital is aiming for, in competition with Rome and Busan.
“The Line,” a 170 km long vertical city, only 200 meters wide, will thus become one of the most significant construction projects in the race to secure this international event, and not just because of its innovative characteristics, but also because it will be connected to Neom, the other hypermodern smart city being built in the heart of the desert.
“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,” said Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The Line will tackle the challenges facing humanity in urban life today and will shine a light on alternative ways to live.”
The high speed train in the vertical city
According to the project presented last July, the city will be 170 km long and 500 meters high. This will reduce its impact on the environment, preserving 95 percent of the land around Neom, even though the new city will be able to host 9 million people.
Within the city, one of the most important projects is the construction of “The Spine,” a high speed rail line that will run along the entire length of the city. Able to reach cross the city end the end in 20 minutes, the rail link is part of a wide infrastructure network of sustainable mobility. An entire transport system with zero pollution and zero waiting times.
The Line, a city without cars with nature next door
The driving idea behind the project of a linear city is to reduce its impact on the environment and at the same time allow its inhabitants to be a step away from nature, unlike what happens in most sprawling megacities. To do so, the project envisages buildings as tall as 500 meters, a vertical city where nature is just 2 minutes away and all services can be reached within 5 minutes.
This would realize what the project’s authors define as “zero gravity urbanism,” a city where all activities develop vertically.
The ambitious and futuristic project is part of the multibillion investment push of Vision 2030 that Saudi Arabia has launched to modernize the country and transform it into an international showcase. The plan is heavily focused on sustainable mobility, as shown by the substantial construction projects ongoing in Riad, the capital, where one of the world’s largest and most capillary underground networks is being built. Webuild is contributing to this effort with the construction of the 3 line, an essential segment of the huge rail network that, according to the government’s plans, will reach 176 km in a few years. It will be another prodigious infrastructure like the Kingdom Center, the skyscraper with a unique shape built by Webuild in the hearth of the capital Riyadh.