26 July 2022

The Independent newspaper, UK

‘Vertically layered communities will challenge traditional flat, horizontal cities,’ says Prince Mohammed bin Salman

The projected zero-carbon city of NEOM being built in Saudi Arabia will have vertical layers of buildings for work, living and leisure stretching 170 kilometres into the horizon, the kingdom’s crown prince has announced.

Prince Mohammed bin Salman declared that the project will lead to seismic changes in the way people will live in the future on “100 per cent renewable energy” in an “environment free from roads, cars and emissions”.

Speaking at an event in Jeddah showcasing the designs of The Line, Prince Mohammed said he saw the new city as a cosmopolitan centre which will be the home for more than nine million people embracing nature in an urban landscape.

Residents will  have access to all facilities within a five-minute walk

“We cannot ignore the livability and environmental crises facing our world’s cities, and NEOM is at the forefront of delivering new and imaginative solutions to address these issues. NEOM is leading a team of the brightest minds in architecture, engineering and construction to make the idea of building upwards a reality,” he said.

“The city’s vertically layered communities will challenge the traditional flat, horizontal cities,” the Prince said. “The designs of The Line embody how urban communities will be in the future in an environment free from roads, cars and emissions.”

Discussions will be held with neighbouring countries to try and ensure that developments across the border do not jar with the intrinsic sense of harmony and tranquillity NEOM is striving to establish.

The 26,500 sq km development on the Red Sea is a prime focus for the kingdom’s sovereign wealth, the Public Investment Fund. But the crown prince said he expected that Saudi entrepreneurs would also want to contribute to “one of the most exciting architectural developments taking place currently in the world”.

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