Saudi Arabia's crown prince on Sunday has announced a project to build a 'zero-carbon city' at NEOM in northwestern Saudi Arabia, as reported by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA). Prince Mohammed bin Salman declared through a video of the project 'The Line', which will shelter a million people with no cars or roads.
The project is a direct response to some of the most pressing challenges facing humanity today such as legacy infrastructure, pollution, traffic, and human congestion.
According to a statement released by the NEOM, 'The line' would extend over 170 km (105 miles) and the construction is expected to commence in the first quarter of 2021. It will preserve 95 per cent of nature within NEOM during its construction. The zero-carbon city is in line with Saudi Vision 2030 and is expected to produce 380,000 jobs and $48 billion contribution to the Kingdom's GDP.
The infrastructure of the project would cost $100 billion to $200 billion.The crown prince also said the spine of investment is from Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF), one of the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world. As the statement noted, the revolutionary project forms part of the extensive development work already in progress.
The city is to have all facilities such as schools, medical clinics, leisure facilities, green spaces all within a five-minute walk to reach. A high-speed transit and autonomous mobility solutions will ensure that no journey will be longer than 20 minutes.
"Throughout history, cities were built to protect their citizens. After the Industrial Revolution, cities prioritized machines, cars and factories over people. In cities that are viewed as the world's most advanced, people spend years of their lives commuting. By 2050, commute durations will double," the crown prince said during the announcement
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?" the crown prince said during the announcement
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?" the crown prince said during the announcement" the prince added
The Kingdom also foresees production of hydrogen from solar power in 2025 at its factory in NEOM at the cost of $ 5 billion.