Saudi Arabia is aiming to set a record with its enormous and controversial 100-mile skyscraper city, called The Line. Its massiveness will either lead to the building becoming a global icon or will be tragically transformed into a huge, half-trillion-dollar failure.
The scale on which the building is built is gigantic. The Line will have the capacity to accommodate nine million residents, CNBC reports, inside two parallel skyscrapers some 1,640 feet high and 650 feet across. There is also a sustainable aspect of this state-of-the-art structure. The entire building will function only on renewable energy.
Experts all over the world are skeptical about the viability of the building and have given it the name of a “dystopian” pipe dream. It might run on sustainable energy, but the project has already become notorious for its practices as there have been reports of human rights abuses during the first days of its construction.
The Line is one of three ginormous projects. The Neom development area will also comprise a mountainous travel destination for outdoor sports enthusiasts called Trojena, and a huge floating industrial complex called Oxagon.
“I want to be clear about this — Neom is a complex, bold, and highly ambitious undertaking and is most certainly not an easy one to deliver,” Antoni Vives, chief urban planning officer at Neom, told CNBC. “But we are making strong progress, and it’s exciting to see the vision come to life.”
Human Rights Watch is warning that migrant workers, who will be the ones working on the project, will be entirely at the mercy of their employers, and operate outside of labor laws.
It is ironic how at the same time, international architecture firm executives are being offered million-dollar salaries to work on the project.
Construction has just started, but, there’s a chance Saudi Arabia’s enormous project will end up as an example of failure rather than precedence of modern architecture.