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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Announces a Zero-Carbon City in NEOM

neom, Mohammed bin Salman

Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and chairman of the NEOM company board of directors. Photo: Instagram/@discoverneom

In a rare televised appearance on Sunday, January 10, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced the plans for a new, zero-carbon city in NEOM, Saudi Arabia.

Named “The Line,” the city will span 170km in length, bringing together Artificial Intelligence-powered communities with its capacity to house a million residents. The city’s environment will feature “zero carbon emissions,” according to the Crown Prince, as it will be built around nature, without any cars and streets. With a special focus on walkability, all essential daily services, such as schools, medical clinics, leisure facilities, as well as green spaces, will be within a five-minute walk, while “ultra-high-speed transit and autonomous mobility solutions” will ensure that no journey is longer than 20 minutes.

Not only will The Line be powered by 100% clean energy, but it will also preserve 95% of nature within NEOM. This is in response to the growing challenges facing our world, such as legacy infrastructure, pollution, traffic, and human congestion. “By 2050, commute durations will double,” Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, chairman of the NEOM company board of directors, said at the launch. “By 2050, one billion people will have to relocate due to rising CO2 emissions and sea levels. 90% of people breathe polluted air. Why should we sacrifice nature for the sake of development? Why should seven million people die every year because of pollution? Why should we lose one million people every year due to traffic accidents? And why should we accept wasting years of our lives commuting?”

“Therefore, we need to transform the concept of a conventional city into that of a futuristic one,” he added.

Saudi Arabia Vogue Shoot December 2020

NEOM. Photographed by Txema Yeste for Vogue Arabia

Located in northwest Saudi Arabia on the Red Sea, NEOM is a giga-project spanning 26,500sqkm and dubbed a “living laboratory” due to its emphasis on fostering innovation and sustainability. It is part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 plan that seeks to diversify its economy by reducing its dependency on oil. “The backbone of investment in ‘The Line’ will come from the $500 billion support to NEOM by the Saudi government, PIF and local and global investors over 10 years,” said the Crown Prince.

While construction of The Line will begin in the first quarter of 2021, the bulk of NEOM will be built over the next decade as it aims to host a million residents by 2030.

Read Next: 5 Cool Things You Really Need To Know About NEOM in Saudi

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