Saudi Arabia announces plans for a zero-carbon city that's 105 miles long

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The ultimate in greenwashing… The blood of Yemen doesn’t go away so easily, MSB.


Interesting fact: bonesaws use no fossil fuels and emit no carbon dioxide.


Looks like a transportation disaster that nobody in their right mind will build.


I believe that’s a “fun fact” rather than an “interesting fact”… or both!


I’m all for green, carbon neutral city planning. I think it’s possible. But not by these assholes.


If it’s 105 miles long, they’re kind of missing the whole point of a “city.”


To say nothing of their labor practices:

At best you can say they aren’t as well known for modern slavery, compared to UAE and Dubai.


Slave labour and dictatorships can do wonderful things.


It’s a grift designed to immediately filter out investors who are adept at math.


I doubt it is really either. It seems dependent on transportation technology which does not exist to function. Its vaporware.


An efficient carbon-neutral city would most likely be hub-and-spoke shaped. A straight line makes getting across town a PITA.


Good point. It seems like that a project like this should go for compact?

Bill Hader Yes GIF

This particular proposal might but, but that doesn’t mean a zero carbon city isn’t possible. It is, in fact, a goal we should be striving for, for the good of future generations.

Another good point.


Essentially Amsterdam. The city is rather small and all public transportation comes through a central station.


An infographic using Chicago, to drive this home.

Bonus context: 105 miles from Chicago is Mendota, where a lot of the natives speak with a southern twang.


La Ciudad Lineal in Madrid:

Via Wiki:

"The linear city was an urban plan for an elongated urban formation. The city would consist of a series of functionally specialized parallel sectors. Generally, the city would run parallel to a river and be built so that the dominant wind would blow from the residential areas to the industrial strip. The sectors of a linear city would be:

  1. a purely segregated zone for railway lines,
  2. a zone of production and communal enterprises, with related scientific, technical and educational institutions, ,
  3. a residential zone, including a band of social institutions, a band of residential buildings and a “children’s band”,
  4. a park zone, and
  5. an agricultural zone with gardens and state-run farms ( sovkhozy in the Soviet Union).

As the city expanded, additional sectors would be added to the end of each band, so that the city would become ever longer, without growing wider.

The linear city design was first developed by Arturo Soria y Mata in Madrid, Spain during the 19th century, but was promoted by the Soviet planner Nikolay Alexandrovich Milyutin in the late 1920s. (Milyutin justified placing production enterprises and schools in the same band with Engels’ statement that “education and labour will be united”.)"

Great for parades and nondescript apartment blocks!

Ernst May, a famous German functionalist architect, formulated his initial plan for Magnitogorsk, a new city in the Soviet Union, primarily following the model that he had established with his Frankfurt settlements: identical, equidistant five-story communal apartment buildings and an extensive network of dining halls and other public services.”


Cool, cool. Gonna be built by slave labor and run by murderous theocratic dictators still? Sounds good.


Vice has a good piece on this project:

“…cities don’t have problems because of the land they’re built on. They have problems because the people who govern them often defer to land owners and corporate interests rather than what is plainly best for the city as a whole. You know, people like Bin Salman. And one of the many problems city governments have is they all too often dig deep into the well of techno-futurist ideas like “smart cities” and “artificial intelligence” when much more realistic solutions like zoning reform and elimination of parking minimums and making certain streets car-free are right there for the taking. They may be hard to do and will piss some people off in the process, but at least they will ultimately solve problems and make people’s lives better. La Ciudad Lineal failed to do that because we live in three dimensions and it’s absurd to pretend otherwise, as will The Line, which exists in Mohammed Bin Salman’s head. I doubt even there it will do much to improve anything.”


They could make their line twice as accessible by joining the two ends of it, forming a circle. And then you could have shortcuts between select points on the circle, and …

… yep.


Exactly this. Setting aside Saudi/MSB fuckwittery, a ‘city’ with everything within say 10 mins walking distance of a public transit spine, is appealing but makes much more sense if the spine is a large circle rather than a line.