Renowned physicist, best-selling author and television presenter professor Michio Kaku has visited NEOM’s flagship project THE LINE, in Saudi Arabia, to see how the city of the future is coming together.
Accompanied by NEOM Urban Design Executive Director Tarek Qaddumi, THE LINE Executive Director Giles Pendleton and NEOM Senior Architect and Urban Planner Salwa Alkhudairi – professor Kaku saw both the construction site in NEOM and THE LINE exhibition in Riyadh.
His trip was documented in a new film titled ‘Placemakers’, which explores how and why THE LINE is being built and includes insights from professor Kaku himself and those experts building this place of the future.
Speaking in the film, professor Kaku said THE LINE could help tackle the traditional urban challenges of traffic, pollution, inequality and overcrowding – adding: “We can do better, we can create – perhaps out of the desert – a city that would be sustainable, livable.
“THE LINE shows us a new way of doing things. A template by which we can create cities of the future. By which other nations can compare their plans with what is being done here in Saudi Arabia. We are creating the future of the human race.”
In the video, Qaddumi addressed the full ambitions of the city, explaining: “We are working on an urban model that provides unprecedented livability. A model for nature, preservation and sustainability – all while providing a unique environment for economic growth.”
Also looking to the future, Pendleton said: “THE LINE is going to change things for the better because we can implement international best practice into every element of the city. Placemaking to me is about creating the canvas for community.”
And Alkhuadiri explained how the team had learned the lessons from history, stating: “We are working with the best architects and planners from around the world, in order to take all the learnings we’ve inherited from other cities and create a new city from scratch.”
THE LINE is a cognitive city stretching across 170 kilometers, from the epic mountains of NEOM across inspirational desert valleys to the beautiful Red Sea. A mirrored architectural masterpiece towering 500 meters high, but a land-saving 200 meters wide. It will redefine the concept of urban development and what cities of the future will look like.
This is the second episode of Placemakers, the first episode on Trojena having been published last year. Further episodes will follow, highlighting NEOM’s other regions.