Have you heard of The Line?
A fantastic, yet unusual development is underway in Saudi Arabia called “The Line”, and the name really does say it all. The futuristic city is expected to be 170 kilometres long and 500 metres tall, anticipated to accommodate 9 million residents.
The Line is setting new benchmarks for sustainable developments globally, with a footprint as little as 34 square kilometres which is less than 4 square metres per person. It is presented as a post-carbon eco-city, but it’s clear some concerns have been raised whether it can deliver on its environmental goals.
There have been doubts about this futuristic city concerning its technological and economic viability. The initial plan was for completion by 2030 with a budget of $500 Billion; however there are suggestions the completion date may not be until 2050, which will no doubt increase costs significantly.
Financial challenges may be the biggest obstacle with some analysts predicting the project to run over budget to an eye-watering $1 Trillion.
One of the biggest technical problems is the reliance of foreign skilled workers, an issue that is unlikely to be solved in the short term. Adhering to advanced technologies in urban design, finances and foreign investment are vital; otherwise this project will join a list of unfinished cities across the Gulf.
The recent COP 27 meeting at Sharm el Sheikh where Governments met to discuss and deliver actions on an array of issues critical to the tackling of the climate emergency, from reducing greenhouse gas emissions, building resilience and adapting to inevitable impacts of climate change. The Line is certainly a futuristic project which goes a long way in helping to deal with such issues.
At iPhorms, our expertise is in technical solutions, with our specialist field being Health and Safety. We hope that lessons can be learned from the ambitious project by Saudi Arabia’s neighbours. Qatar is hosting the forthcoming World Cup and there has been a price to pay. Many reports suggest workers died or were injured due to lax Health and Safety procedures during the construction of Stadia throughout Qatar.
There will be obstacles and hurdles along the way during the development of this futuristic and exciting project in Saudi Arabia but it’s important to take those lessons from Qatar and protect the workers by adhering to all things Health and Safety.
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