Innovation That Matters

A rendering of transport options | Photo source NEOM

AI to power car-free city in Saudi Arabia, centred around nature

Architecture & Design

Mass transit operates below ground and shops, workplaces and leisure destinations are all within walking distance

Spotted: Introduced by His Royal Highness Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince, The Line is a 170 kilometre long urban development running from Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Coast inland to the mountains in the north west. Located in a region called Neom, the area has been designated a living laboratory for a complete reimagining of urban life. The country plans to attract up to one million residents to the new community by 2030, as part of its Saudi Vision 2030 goal to diversify the Kingdom’s economy.

The Line consists of four regions, each with its own series of neighbourhoods and all interconnected by a single ultra-high-speed mass transit network. The areas are coastal, coastal desert, mountain and upper valley. The city consists of three layers, with the top layer dedicated to pedestrians and daily life. The middle layer operates below ground and is where the city service sector systems are located. One layer below that is what is called the spine layer and is where the mass transit and next generation freight systems operate.

An artificial intelligence system runs the city’s infrastructure, and every neighbourhood is built specifically to provide shops, places of work and natural recreation options, all within a five minute walk. The entire city is car-free and fully powered by renewable energy resources.

Other urban transformation innovations Springwise has spotted recently are smaller but no less ambitious. They include a hyper-local, street-by-street redesign and a hybrid-electric flying vehicle that can take-off and land vertically, thus hugely reducing the need for runway space.

Written by: Keely Khoury

Read more: Architecture & Design Innovations | Sustainability Innovations



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