A dystopian Saudi city waits for no one

it controversial, futuristic Saudi Line City project began record construction just 20 months after it was announced and met with massive public opposition. Against all odds, Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman set out to build his grand legacy, his bold take on the great pyramids and his futuristic vision of a Self-sufficient, AI-controlled megacity in the desert.

And although experts and the public agree that the project is only impractical, functional and above all environmentally friendly, the Saudi Crown Prince is determined to make the desert habitable for future generations, regardless of the cost in human and animal lives and long before the technology is even ready. In October 2022, drones revealed that excavation work had begun along the entire length of the mirror citywhich starts at the Red Sea and stretches for 170 km through the desert and the mountains.

The self-sufficient AI city will house 9 million people in a vertical design to take advantage of renewable energy and the absence of roads, cars and emissions. The project is part of Saudi Vision 2030, which aims to elevate Saudi Arabia to the world rank of innovative architecture and tourism in hopes of reshaping the Kingdom’s economy. The goal is to reach 100 million visitors per year by 2030, which would certainly bring billions to the country.

Neom is a $1 trillion Saudi megaproject that aims to become the world’s first fully renewable megacity. In addition to Line City, it also includes the bay of Neom on the Red Sea, the ski mountain of Neom, the industrial city of Neom and the region of Aqaba, all located in the province of Tabuk, in the northwest of Saudi Arabia, south to Jordan and Israel and east to Egypt. the Strait of Tiran, covering an area of ​​26,500 km2, the size of Sicily.

Future residents and visitors will have the privilege of accessing everything on foot, super-fast subways and flying cars while enjoying clean energy, dancing under the artificial moon and communicating with robots. Neom must also become a free trade zone with its own tax system and its own laws.

The Line Project (Source: Neom)

The first phase of the project is expected to be completed already in 2030, while the whole of Neom Wonderland could take up to 50 years. And no, there are no plans to lift the alcohol ban. However, despite all the innovation, modernity and luxury, people just don’t buy it. The Crown Prince’s impossible dream of building his own Great Pyramid of Giza meets a constant worldwide rejection, debate and protests.

And the fact that 20,000 people have to flee the diggers and be resettled does not help matters, especially after the Saudi government forcibly evicted, arrested and sentenced to death three members of the Huwaitat tribe teach others a lesson in the hope that they will go away quietly.

In reality, according to expertsNeom City has a 20% chance of surviving in its original form because building it over a period of 50 years will require maximum control and because it will face so many physical and environmental phenomena that there will simply be many delays and adjustments to the site, and in the end, if it ever comes to that, it won’t look anything like the promotional videos.

Just think about the huge linear mirror structure in the desert, one wonders if Saudi Arabia is trying to get hit by a giant flying object that will melt the Line into sand. Not to mention the innocent birds that fly into the mirror, become disoriented and die, just like all the other desert animals that will suddenly get stuck to one side and perish. Think lizards, snakes, turtles, hares and cats.

All the experts have warned that the form of the lineage will stop animal migrations, wipe out weaker species, limit genetic diversity and lead to inbreeding and therefore genetic disorders. It would be much more environmentally friendly if they only used the coastline and did not cross the mountains and the desert, fragmenting the fauna to extinction.

And they should know that this huge wall mirror will reflect light and essentially create two turbo heat zones that will fry everything around it. So there is no doubt that the mirror is lethal, they just don’t know how much or what to do about it.

Building two straight walls makes no sense in terms of diversity, wind pressure, and cold air infiltration, especially considering the enormous height and strength the building needs to resist wind loads. And then there’s the dangerous carbon footprint which is actually no longer allowed, but a building this tall cannot be built with low carbon materials and requires a huge amount of steel, glass and concrete.

Their main problem, however, is really the new technology, which is not yet up to the task. The biggest innovation is AI governance, which will take over tasks such as logistics, security, care and home deliveries, using predictive and data models to improve the daily lives of residents, who will have to submit their data to the Line. Food will also be grown, prepared and served by robots, and residents will have to pay a subscription to receive three meals a day.

There will be no cars, roads or carbon emissions, only renewable and clean energy. However, all these technologies on which Neom relies are not yet fully developed. Not to mention that, although many people have mentioned it, who would want to live in such a closed, dense, sunless, fried, AI-controlled, dystopian environment?

Maybe Line City will only serve as a shopping area because of its tax policy, which is perhaps the most exciting thing about the whole project.

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