The world’s longest building announced! 170 kilometers long, 9 million people live, where is the power?

July 26, 2022.

The clock on the square pointed to 7 in the morning, and Jessica squatted among the endless skyscrapers, disappointed and tired from the day-to-day involution of life , lose power.

A distant electronic broadcast sound suddenly trembled the air and woke up the ears. A dazzling light spot not far away was projected, but no one around seemed to notice it: p>

Saudi Arabia’s latest project “The Future City NEOM” was unveiled, and the world’s largest building, THE LINE, debuted first .

Here, we redefine the new look of the future city and bring you an unprecedented pioneering life experience. We replace Silicon Valley in technology and Hollywood in entertainment. You can fly a drone to work and fly in the air. Gymnasium to exercise, robots to clean your house daily, genetic modification to make your body beyond strong, where the greatest minds and the best minds on earth gather here, you will have the highest paying jobs in the world, the most livable in the world City life….

Curiosity drove her to run towards the bright spot, The fallen leaves are swept by the footsteps, and the shining pentagon in front of us seems to be a symbol foreshadowing the infinite future-

The crazy trip to the future city of 2030 has begun.

Introducing THE LINE

Jessica Looking at the news on the phone, everything is not a dream.

Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of NEOM’s Board of Directors, recently announced the detailed plans for THE LINE.

THE LINE was built by a team of world-renowned architects and engineers, including Pritzker Architecture Award winner Thom Mayne, as well as WSP Global, Thornton Tomasetti and other teams.

It connects the Red Sea coast with the mountains and upper valleys of northwestern Saudi Arabia, and consists of two mirrored buildings parallel to each other.

At first glance, it is pioneering and dazzling.

This building will also be the largest and longest building in the world – it 200 meters wide; 500 meters high, it is the 12th highest floor in the world; the most shocking thing is that it is 170 kilometers long.

What concept? From Shenzhen to Guangzhou, the whole journey is 135.6 kilometers.

The length is infinitely elongated because the Saudi crown prince wants to subvert the traditional horizontal city, Turn THE LINE into a linear vertical layered city.

They want it to be a pyramid-like presence in human history, calling it “the world’s first zero-gravity vertical city.”

It can be said that the building itself is equivalent to a city.

This will also be one of the most complex and challenging construction projects in history.

By reducing the footprint, endless urban expansion can be avoided in the future, Instead, it uses less ground resources to continuously build up the living space of human beings.

The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia believes that by around 2050,Rising carbon dioxide emissions and rising sea levels will force a billion people to relocate to more livable places, and 90 percent will breathe polluted air.

So it is imperative to solve the challenges facing human beings in today’s urban life and at the same time open up another new urban lifestyle.

We will, on the basis of a radical change in urban planning, contribute to the protection and improvement of nature A city of human livability creates a model that ultimately creates a revolution in civilization.

The new future of linear and vertical cities

So what would it be like to live in this future building?

Based on a new approach to urban planning and design, people can move seamlessly through three dimensions: up, down, and horizontal.

Schools, homes, offices, parks, malls, gyms, community farms…all No need to occupy a piece of land, but to travel up and down to reach it.

A maximum of five minutes walk will take you to all the space we need in life.

So your time will not be wasted on commuting, but on you on things you like. Your family and friends don’t have to be far apart because of work, but they can meet every day when they are free.

Because there is no need to open the road, there is no car, no exhaust emissions, There will be no more traffic accidents.

Of course, you don’t have to pay for car insurance, fuel, parking, save more money, and no longer feel foggy due to crowded urban spaces and pollution Haze, difficulty breathing.

But if you want to walk sideways, how to solve the problem of further traffic?

Don’t worry, THE LINE has specially built a high-speed train passage under the building, and it only takes 20 minutes to travel from the beginning to the end of the building.

THE LINE is a zero-emission city where all the energy needed to run will be Powered by 100% renewable energy.

The services here are also driven by artificial intelligence. They are fully automated and will continue to update and learn. Each production section will run intelligently, drones will continue to shuttle in the air, and robots will be on the ground. Walk freely.

Advanced logistics and modular structure can achieve efficient delivery, and people’s daily life and community communication will become more convenient and frequent.

The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia hopes to use THE LINE as a precedent to make the future city NEOM the world’s most efficient highest city.

The biggest challenge and innovation is that behind the high-end technology, they allow people to be infinitely close to nature.

Crown Prince indicated that NEOM will be a human-centric, not technology-centric Build the city. Focusing on THE LINE, there is not only a smart and convenient life experience, but also respond to people’s desire for nature at any time.

THE LINE 95% of the land will be protected by nature, and a variety of green open spaces will be built in the building, which means that urban construction and the natural environment will hardly conflict.

When you want to enter any forest green field, you can walk in less than two minutes. See, as they blend with the urban space in various wondrous structures, the pristine natural landscape can be enjoyed equally by all.

On the glittering walls, there is even vertical farming, which comes from nature Three meals a day at your fingertips.

When you want to go to the endless seaside, jump from the pier next to the building And enter, you can float on the sea lying flat all day.

There are more wilderness scenes, needless to say, after all, the whole line here Across the peaks and mountains, the vast desert.

The climate environment in the building is also carefully designed to achieve sunlight, shade, natural Optimum balance of ventilation.

THE LINE covers only 340,000 square kilometers, but in this small On top of the area, it can accommodate 9 million inhabitants.

If it weren’t for the ingenious vertical structure, I’m afraid it would be crowded with people, unable to walk a step.

NEOM hopes to gather the best and brightest people in the world and continue to build it into a huge future testing ground.

All kinds of new possibilities and business opportunities will arise here, and they expect at least 380,000 jobs to be created here by 2030.

In the seemingly barren desert area, a huge urban garden is bred.

Imagine countless tomorrows in NEOM

Is it enough science fiction?

Don’t worry, science fiction is just foreplay, the more you look down, the more you doubt reality.

▲Interior rendering of Neom’s high-tech area. Image via: Bloomberg Businessweek, Photographer: Iman Al- Dabbagh

THE LINE is just one piece of NEOM’s future city, a city of the future in Saudi Arabia that will incorporate all the cutting-edge technology you can think of.

When it launched in 2017, they announced other pioneering projects across the program.

The world’s largest floating building complex: OXAGON – spanning 7 kilometers at sea, will be powered by 100% clean energy, redefining an industrial and innovative urban district.

The first outdoor ski resort in the Gulf of Saudi Arabia: TROJENA – it will be at an altitude of 1500 to 2600 Stretching in the Sarawat Mountains, covering an area of ​​1,400 square kilometers, with ski resorts, extreme sports facilities, space research centers, curved entertainment areas, and more, it will become a world-renowned mountain tourism destination.

NEOM also has high-profile Two subsidiaries: Energy, Water and Hydrogen subsidiary ENOWA, NEOM Technology and Digital.

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In planning documents compiled by a group of American consultants, NEOM’s ambitious technology in the future city has everything you can think of, And what you can’t even imagine:

  1. Flying Taxi: You’ll be able to take a flying taxi to work and drive to the coast to enjoy the view anytime.
  2. Robot Maid: You don’t have to worry about housework anymore, the humanoid robot at home will clean everything when you go out to work.
  3. Mechanical Fighting Arena: A recreational arena that will allow a variety of mechanical species in cages to engage in fierce battles.
  4. Dinosaurs: A realistic Jurassic Park-style island with all kinds of indistinguishable dinosaurs crawling around.
  5. Luminous Beach: A large stretch of beach will glow in the dark, as simple as lighting up the dial of your watch.
  6. World-class restaurants: This is a city with the highest proportion of Michelin-starred restaurants per capita.
  7. Human Augmentation: Scientists will modify the human genome here to make people healthier, stronger and wiser.
  8. Absolute security: cameras, drones, facial recognition technology will track everyone at any time in public, and even detect and notify crimes directly without people calling the police. The murderer can be tracked down immediately.
  9. Digital weather: In this desert, people can choose “digital rain”, which can turn the desert into a lake and cool the hot weather with just one button.
  10. Artificial Moon: A giant artificial moon that lights up every night and transmits images from outer space in real time has become a global landmark.

Saudi Arabia estimates that it will cost nearly $1 trillion to build NEOM and $500 billion to build THE LINE alone.

More exaggerated is the completion time: NEOM says THE LINE will be completed in 2030, and the first residents will be able to move in as early as 2024.

In fact, as early as 1969, Superstudio proposed “linear City”, in the series titled “The Continuous Monument”, they created a huge network of buildings that directly spanned the entire world, and even outer space.

However, unlike THE LINE, it was created to criticize over-urbanization and the modernist mega-projects that were popular at the time.

The New York Times asked one of the only remaining members of the super studio to THE LINE’s view, he replied:

It’s not a good thing to see the dystopia of his own imagination being created.

In 1882, the Spanish engineer Don Arturo also put forward the idea of ​​linear city, he also engraved a small town next to the boulevard outside Madrid, butLater, it also turned into an unremarkable neighborhood, which ended in failure.

To put it bluntly, it remains to be seen whether THE LINE can be created or not.

We’ve seen too many crazy ideas about the future, and finally we’re struggling to build, Insufficient funds, ethical issues and other reasons have fallen short.

The reality is often that the plan is beautiful and the realization is sloppy.

▲Real seaside hotel and planned waterfront hotel. Image via: Bloomberg. Photographer: Iman Al-Dabbagh

Wild Utopia, Trapped in the Web of Reality

Funding may not seem like much to the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia big problem.

After all, the Saudi royal family is one of the richest families in the world today. In the past 100 years, it has made a lot of money from its rich oil reserves and has become the world’s largest oil producer business.

They are not only rich, but also good at spending, and they want to attract more people around the world to spend.

No matter how rich you are, you have to be sustainable.

The crown prince also presumably hopes to use NEOM to find new ways to grow the economy and reduce dependence on oil before crude oil reserves are depleted. At the same time, make Saudi Arabia more modern, attract global attention with high technology and tourism as the center, and drive new economic development.

However, the Wall Street Journal is reviewing 2,300 pages of internal documents for the NEOM Future City project, And after interviewing 25 employees of the Neom project, I found that because the reality behind NEOM is not optimistic.

▲Early construction of Neom Industrial Estate. Image via: Bloomberg, Photographer: Iman Al-Dabbagh

THE LINE When it was first proposed, the Saudi Arabian government faced a rare resistance from local residents against the crown prince, who had not been adequately compensated for the construction of the building, which would have forced some 20,000 people from their homes were forcibly evicted and displaced.

This is dismantling society, and for us, it’s like death.

This is extremely ironic when the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia mentioned that 380,000 jobs would be created by THE LINE, which would drive local prosperity.

Or is this just a rich man’s toy? After all, people who can come to the most advanced places in the world, the cost of consumption is not a small amount.

Saudi Sovereign Wealth Fund and Ministry of Finance are currently working on initial infrastructure, master planning , consultants and employee salaries have invested more than $1 billion, but even if THE LINE is really going to make a revolution, it first has to create a new set of laws.

However, there are many local systems that have been criticized, such as women getting permission from male relatives to travel, prohibiting alcohol, and many opacity and corruption, which also makes many foreign companies. Avoid investing here for a long time.

The Crown Prince also expressed the hope that independent systems and regulations can be built in Neom from scratch to ensure that the original social restrictions can be provided here and the best service can be provided.

But the old system is still a bunch of holes, so how can we build a new system from scratch?

Back to urban construction itself, let’s not talk about how many years to implement these technologies, after all The full realization may never end.

The Saudi crown prince himself said:

If this sounds crazy and unlikely, we will Building the city piece by piece in a way that meets urgent needs may eventually take up to 50 years to complete.

In addition, the Saudi crown prince said that Neom will become “the city with the highest food self-sufficiency rate in the world”, but he is a country that imports about 80% of its food.

▲Northwestern Saudi Arabia. Image via: Hamad I Mohammed/Reuters

and Neom’s entire project One of the biggest gimmicks: the green city is also worth scrutinizing.

The oil extracted by Saudi Arabia itself has no small impact on the environment, and said that it will continue to increase production. Saudi Aramco, the oil company with the world’s largest carbon footprint, announced that it will continue to increase production by 2027 , crude oil production will also increase by 1 million barrels per day – after all, the reality is that there is still demand for oil around the world.

Neom’s goal is to get 50% of its electricity from renewables by 2030, but in 2019 they only got about 0.1% of their electricity this way.

The BBC also points out that Saudi Arabia is an arid country and about half of its water is passed through Produced by desalination plants, which are fueled by fossil fuels, the emissions can also adversely affect marine ecosystems.

Neom wants to use renewable energy to power desalination plants, not dumping wastewater into the sea, but as an industrial feedstock, but desalination plants use renewable energy technology, there is no precedent yet.

THE LINE also has a very unfriendly basic design problem – it makes the surface a mirror surface up to 170 kilometers long, I can’t imagine how many migratory birds will hit it head-on. above.

NEOM is continually recruiting elites around the world for this ambitious and costly program Staff, including futurist Jeff Julian, who worked on “I Am Legend,” and Olivier Pron and Nathan Crowley, who worked on the “Guardians of the Galaxy” film design, NEOM’s best urban style reference is also from “Black Panther.”

But the reality is that many people come here to work for less than a year despite being paid 20 times more than the Saudi Arabian average.

▲One of Neom’s employee housing estates. Image via: Bloomberg. Photographer: Iman Al-Dabbagh

According to a Bloomberg survey, many of Neom’s early plans came and went quickly, and the ever-changing vision and unrealizable plans have overwhelmed them. One foreign employee scoffed at his own experience:

When you first enter Neom, you bring two buckets with you. The first bucket is for a lot of the gold you got here, and the second bucket is for all the shit that’s piled up on your hands. The shit bucket fills up quickly, and then you can grab your gold bucket and leave.

Of course, Neom also has supporters who think that Neom’s detailed planning and efforts for ultra-modern cities are already very bold and not absurd – they It is indeed in action, including strategic development, technical research, and construction on the ground. Aside from these, it also has a strong inspiring effect on the ideological and cultural level.

In the end, Neom is an experimental project and the problems behind it , a problem we all face.

The future described by Neom is not impossible, and “technological optimism” is not wrong in itself, but there is still a long way to go.

When Neom makes the marketing publicity rush to the cusp, and grasp the scale between fantasy and reality, we can ensure that Lu Yao still has horsepower.

After all, they are telling everyone: this is not a science fiction movie, not a science fiction novel, not a dream.

Note: Pictures not indicated in the text are from Neom