Sunday, August 14, 2022

A Future City: Fact, Fantasy Or...?

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Science & Society, Culture

Ed Hessler

Saudi Arabia has disclosed designs "for a one-building city that could potentially house nine million people near the Red Sea." It would be 106 miles long (~171 km). It's name is "The Line." And here is a promotional video. All for a "100 - 200 billion dollars with the promise of zero net carbon emissions. A "green" oasis. It is also part of a much larger city-state in Tabuk province.

Is is feasible? Is it a dystopian vision of society? What are the environmental implications?

Architectural Digest has a story with some of the details, including an illustration of how it will operate and its location. 

CNN published a story with a few more pictures and details.

This promotional brochure from the Saudi Arabian government includes many artist's renditions, details on its geography and a video of what Manhattan would look with the vertical urbanism being adopted for The Line.

NPR's Bill Chappell wrote a story which includes this additional information,

  • It will be only 200 meters wide (roughly 220 yards);
  • It will rise 500 meters (~546 yards or 1,640 feet) above sea level — higher than the Empire State Building (1250 feet or 1,454 feet to tip;
  • Residents will be able to run errands with a five-minute walk;
  • There will be no cars or roads;
  • High-speed rail will carry people from end to end in 20 minutes (Perspective: 20 miles in 20minutes at 60 mph or ~37kmph;
  • It will cost hundreds of billions of dollars to build.

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