The City of the Future, or is it


Yannick Hispa, Author

On January 10th, 2021 Dubai’s prince announced the Line, the city of the future. The Line is one of 3 projects Dubai will be working on called Neom, the Line alone is projected to cost 1 trillion dollars but this number is projected to go up. The city will showcase a mirrored facade on a structure 500 meters above sea level but 170 kilometers long cutting across the Baklava desert. The Line will house 9 million people and aims to have zero carbon emissions which are in high demand in our times of environmental crisis. As a result of its vertical lifestyle everything you need in your day-to-day life will be within a 5-minute walk. Hence, there will be no need for cars, and just in case you want to get from one end to the other there will be a high-speed underground transit which can do so in 20 minutes. One end of the Line reaches the sea where a state-of-the-art port will live. 

Despite all the considered positives, the Line is frankly oversimplified, and cruel, keeping an open building design cool year-round in a literal desert would take enormous amounts of energy. This building would put a massive barrier in the desert getting in the way of the countless species that live in the desert. Additionally, the Saudi Arabian government already displaced the Howeitat tribe to make room for the project and two tribesmen who rejected the government’s orders were put in jail for 50 years.

Even if all these problems are solved by some miracle there is still one major problem. Who wants to live here? Buying a place in the Line will most likely cost a fortune, so the only people living here will be the super-rich but if I’m gonna take a wild guess all those people want to live in a place where they can show off their nice cars, go outside… Sure maybe a few people will want to live in such a city but surely not the 9 million people they want and need to get their money back.

To conclude, the Saudi Arabian government has a reputation for never finishing its projects such as the Jeddah Tower which was a mega project from 6 years ago and will likely never be finished just like countless other projects. Hence, they should reinvest that trillion that would be spent on the Line to improve the living conditions of the 20% of their population that lives in poverty.