Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, launches car-free city

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RYAD | Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest exporter of crude oil, announced on Sunday the launch of a green city with “zero cars, zero roads, zero CO emissions.2 In NEOM, an area in the north-west of the kingdom currently under development.

Futuristic and touristic region, NEOM is on the list of the many megaprojects underway intended to diversify the economy of Saudi Arabia which depends very largely on the export of black gold.

“As chairman of the board of directors of NEOM, I present to you ‘THE LINE’, a city that can accommodate one million inhabitants, 170 km long and which will preserve 95% of natural areas”, announced the prince. heir Mohammed ben Salman in a statement broadcast on television.

“There will be no cars, no roads and zero carbon emissions,” added the de facto leader of the Arab world’s largest economy, regularly ranked among the most polluting countries in the world.

“We must transform cities into cities of the future”, he declared, speaking of a “civilizational revolution”.

The details of the project will be communicated later, assured Prince Mohammed, before showing synthetic images of the “line” as well as landscapes of pristine deserts and blue seas.

The pedestrian city will have services such as schools or health centers, as well as green spaces, but also high-speed public transport, with no trip that should last more than 20 minutes, according to a NEOM press release.

It will also be based on artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and “low-carbon equipment, powered by 100% renewable energy”.

The construction of “THE LINE” will begin in the first quarter of 2021 and will be financed by the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), the main instrument of the country’s economic diversification policy.

The project will create 380,000 jobs and its contribution to GDP is estimated at 180 billion riyals (over 39 billion euros) by 2030, according to the NEOM press release.

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