Line: A 170-kilometer linear city between mirror walls that Saudi Arabia is building in the desert

Line It is the name of an eco-city designed by the government of Saudi Arabia, which is part of the Saudi Vision 2030 strategic plan to diversify the economy and reduce dependence on oil. The city will have a linear shape 170 kilometers long, without cars or streets, and will run on 100% clean energy.

The aim of the project in addition to the project is to create a sustainable, healthy and carbon-free environment for its inhabitants. The city will be located in the northwest of the country, close to the Red Sea and the Suez Strait, and will be connected by a high-speed train that will cover the distance in 20 minutes. The city’s project includes 500-meter glass walls that will regulate the climate in the desert. Up to 9.5 million people are expected to be able to live on the line, which began construction in November 2022.

But despite all these miracles, there is a research center in Vienna. Complexity Science Hub, which openly criticized the project.

Rafael Prieto-Curiel, one of the leaders of the investigation, presented some points of his criticism:

“The line is the least efficient form of the city,” says Prieto-Curiel. “There is a reason why humanity has 50,000 cities, and they are all round in some way,” he emphasizes. If we randomly select two people from Line, are located at an average distance of 57 kilometers. In Johannesburg, which is 50 times larger, two random people are only 33 kilometers apart.

Assuming a walking distance of one kilometer, only 1.2% of the population is within walking distance of each other. This makes active mobility difficult, so people will depend on public transport.

It is planned that the high-speed rail system will become the basis of public transport. “For everyone to be within walking distance of a station, there must be at least 86 stations,” explains CSH researcher Daniel Condor. As a result, trains spend considerable time at stations. In addition, they will not be able to achieve high travel speeds between any two stations.

According to the researchers, the journey is therefore expected to take an average of 60 minutes, with at least 47% of the population traveling even longer. Even with additional express lines, earnings are limited due to the need for additional transfers. As a result, people will continue to travel longer than in other major cities such as Seoul, where 25 million people commute to work in less than 50 minutes.

The image shows what The Line, the modern city that Saudi Arabia wants to build, will be like.

“Cities are more than a collection of 15-minute semi-isolated blocks located next to each other. What distinguishes the city from smaller settlements is not only its size. Rather, they are distinguished by additional opportunities outside the immediate vicinity, such as concerts or advanced job search. For this reason, we need to think about transport throughout the city,” explains Condor.

Summary of the most important moments of The Line

  • Two random people Line they will be at a distance of 57 km, which is almost twice as far as, for example, in Johannesburg.
  • The linear form makes the transport system vulnerable. Accidents could paralyze entire areas of the city.
  • Each trip will take, on average, at least 60 minutes.
  • 47% of the population will make a trip lasting more than 60 minutes.
  • Only 1.2% of the population will be within walking distance of each other.
  • How to attract 9 million people in a medium-sized country of 36.7 million remains to be seen.
  • Although all the energy in Line it must come from renewable sources, the construction phase and the huge consumption of resources are not considered here.

Source: Digital Trends

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I am Garth Carter and I work at Gadget Onus. I have specialized in writing for the Hot News section, focusing on topics that are trending and highly relevant to readers. My passion is to present news stories accurately, in an engaging manner that captures the attention of my audience.


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