Plans to build a zero-carbon city at Neom is what Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has unveiled recently. This is the first major construction project which is estimated at $500 billion flagship business zone aimed at expanding the economy of the world’s largest oil exporter.
Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in a rare televised appearance, said the city, which will be named as ‘The Line’, would spread over 170km and be able to accommodate a million residents in “carbon-positive urban developments powered by 100 percent clean energy”.
The construction of Saudi’s first eco-city with zero cars, zero streets, and zero carbon emissions would start in the first quarter of 2021. It is foreseen to contribute $48 billion to the kingdom’s gross domestic product and create 380,000 jobs by 2030, according to a Saudi statement. Neom, a 26,500-square-km high-tech development on the Red Sea with several zones including industrial and logistics fields, intended for completion in 2025, was announced by Prince Mohammed bin Salman in 2017 as a pillar of his Vision 2030 plan to free Saudi Arabia of its reliance on crude oil revenues.
The city will have services such as schools, health centers, and green spaces, as well as high-speed public transportation, with no journey assumed to take more than 20 minutes. Also, artificial intelligence is expected to play a key role in the city.