“I’d Rather be Dead Than Live in Something Like This”
Saudi Arabia has revealed the plan for a new city that will be built in the shape of a long tall line, and the project has sparked quite some bit of curiosity, even suspicion, among many on social media.
Announced in January 2021, the Saudi city called The Line is planned to be built as a linear structure with units of buildings stacked upon on each other in a l05-mile long line. In simple terms, it’s a plan for a long and narrow vertical city. The promo video of the project says it will accommodate 9 million residents and will be built to the footprint of just 34 square kilometers (a little over 13 square miles) with only 200 meters across.
Its architectural design aside, the planned city is being touted as 100 percent green. The city’s site describes it as:
No roads, cars, or emissions, it will run on 100% renewable energy and 95% of the land will be preserved for nature.
Many comments on the city’s main plan, shared on various social media sites, express suspicion of the plan and possible political designs behind it. Conservative journalist and commentator Matt Walsh tweeted: “I’d rather be dead than live in something like this.” Firebrand Republican congresswoman from Colorado Lauren Boebert responded to Walsh’s tweet with her own and wrote that it’s the “new world order in its pure form.”
This is the future they want for us. This is the “new world order” in it’s pure form.
We cannot allow this kind of stuff to become reality. https://t.co/YTM0dQuKup
— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) July 27, 2022
A Facebook comment from one named Mahmood Saeed reads:
Once you exit the Line, you enter the desert..from the future to the past.
The Line is part of Saudi Arabia’s construction project called Neom (acronym of Greek and Arabic collectively meaning ‘new future’) which has an estimated cost of $500 billion. Noem was announced in October 2017 by Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman and was supposed to be mainly completed by 2020. However, the project lags way behind its aimed schedule, and critics have expressed skepticism over its ambitions.
A BBC story published in February this year said that despite the sci-fi novel style of presentation on the city’s site, the actual project seems to lack progress. The story cites experts in green energy and the environment casting doubt that the city can live to its promise of running entirely on renewable energy and attaining self-sufficiency in food using greenhouses.
It sets out a vision for vertical farming and greenhouses – revolutionary for a country that currently imports about 80% of its food.
Saudi Arabia relies heavily on its oil production but is claiming to be seriously engaged in going green. BBC noted that since a country’s carbon emissions are counted in how much they burn fossil fuel, Saudi Arabia can live up to its green promises by exporting most of its oil instead of domestically consuming it.