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The Future of "The Line"

THE ECOTOPIA 2121 PROJECT DESCRIBES GREEN UTOPIAN FUTURES FOR 100 REAL WORLD CITIES ACROSS THE GLOBE. THIS WEEK, WE FEATURE THE FUTURE OF THE ARABIAN TOWN OF AYNUNE.


The Line, Saudi Arabia

The Line -- As Proposed by the Saudi Government


Some of the supposed urban benefits of The Line are:

  • It is a zero-carbon city that runs on 100% renewable energy.

  • It preserves 95% of provincial land for "nature" and biodiversity.

  • It prioritizes people’s health and wellbeing over transportation and infrastructure.

  • It offers a new form of urbanism with innovative architecture, design, and technology.

  • It connects residents to essential services and amenities within a close walk.

The Line, Saudi Arabia

The Line -- As Proposed by the Saudi Government


However, there's surely to be some problems associated with The Line's planning and construction. Namely:

  • It is a top-down and authoritarian vision that ignores the social, cultural, and political realities of the province.

  • It is an ecological and moral disaster that over-exploits natural resources, despoils the desert, pollutes the sea, violates human rights, and whitewashes the image of the oppressive Saudi regime.

  • It's a structurally unsafe design built on shifting unstable geological forms and subject to being toppled over in high winds.

  • And, perhaps most importantly, it displaces 20,000 members of the Huwaitat tribe. Members of this tribe have protested their eviction from the area by the developers of The Line. Many of these protestors have then been arrested and jailed.

The Line, Saudi Arabia

The Line -- As Proposed by the Saudi Government


However, one day the The Line will probably collapse (either through the high winds of a sandstorm, from geological fractures beneath the city, or via financial troubles).

Collapse of The Line


After this, Huwaitat tribe can resurrect The Line's remains to reclaim their lost land. They then build a nice modest little techno-village of their own near the coast (as depicted below).

Aynune, a town growing out of the demise of The Line, Saudi Arabia

Aynune 2121: The Future of the Post-Line Landscape by the Ecotopia 2121 team (as displayed at the Bauhaus Museum, Weimar, 2023)

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