The Line. Template for the future?

I find this fucking spooky.
The Line (styled THE LINE ; Arabic: الخط AL KHATT ) is a linear smart city under construction in Saudi Arabia in Neom, Tabuk Province, which is designed to have no cars, streets or carbon emissions.[2][3][4][5] The 170-kilometre-long (110 mi) city is part of Saudi Vision 2030 project, which Saudi Arabia claims will create around 460,000 jobs and add an estimated $48 billion to the country’s GDP.[2] The Line is planned to be the first development of a $500 billion project in Neom.[6] The city’s plans anticipate a population of 9 million; 25% of Saudi Arabia’s current population of 35.5 million.[7] Excavation work had started along the entire length of the project by October 2022.

The project management had all architects sign confidentiality agreements, which is why there are no references to The Line on any of the websites. German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung found out that two well known architects terminated their participation in the project due to human rights and ecological concerns – Norman Foster and Francine Houben from Mecanoo. The paper also reported that several high-ranking architects are still on board: David Adjaye, Ben van Berkel (UN Studios), Massimiliano Fuksas, the London office of the late Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, the Laboratory for Visionary Architecture (LAVA) as well as Delugan Meissl and Wolf D. Prix from Coop Himmelb(l)au. The Süddeutsche criticized the lack of sustainability and the prevailing double standards of the architects in moral issues.[22]

More detail here

$500bn? That’s one of those government project initial prices we see that ends up going up by a factor of 10 or more.

The thing is that the build has an enormous carbon footprint, according to the video 4x the total UK annual carbon footprint, and those buildings need a lot of maintenance, need a very large support network and have finite lifespans.

I’d rather see the effort being put into re-greening the desert.

Yes I’d say it’s doomed to failure. Just madness.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d like to see a slice of it working as intended to see what we could learn from it. I just don’t see it as the best solution to any problem. They could turn Saudi Arabia into a green paradise with everyone getting free solar panels for that kind of money!