Have you heard about “The Line?”
It’s a 105-mile long, 200-yard wide “sustainable city” planned for the northwest part of Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia is slated to be the home for this tall, narrow city which will snake more than 100 miles from the Red Sea east across the desert to a mountain range.
The recently unveiled design shows a “futuristic” walled city that will be no wider than the length of about two American football fields.
I thought it might be the first par 7 hole on the LIV golf circuit.
“The Line” will have no roads or cars and run entirely on renewable energy.
Saudi officials claim people living there will be able to run errands with a five-minute walk.
High-speed trains will be able to transport residents from one end of “The Line” to the other in 20 minutes.
Construction is already underway on this “city” which will have 1.5 million people living in it by 2030.
I’m guessing it’s going to have to be pretty tall to accommodate 1.5 million residents because there’s only going to be about 352 million square feet available, which figures out to about 222 square feet per person.
There will need to be more than a few high rises in “The Line”.
What I find interesting is that Saudi Arabia sits atop vast amounts of oil and natural gas and they are designing this “sustainable” city to run on renewable energy.
The cost has to be incredible.
But when you’re Saudi Arabia, awash in cash thanks to high costs for petroleum, my guess is they can afford it.
The fact that “The Line” is only going to be about 200 yards wide makes me think of the time my wife and I lived in a trailer in the Untied States Air Force while waiting on traditional base housing.
When we used an ironing board in that trailer, you couldn’t get around it. We also noticed it “shook” during a severe thunderstorm that blew through one night.
We were happy to secure that two bedroom brick house after just a few weeks of trailer living. At least it was attached securely to Mother Earth.
Back to “The Line”.
I’m wondering how “self-sustaining” it will be.
High-speed trains will take up a little space and might require a little AC to cool inhabitants of this futuristic burg.
Those things will cut into available living space, as will the facilities to supply food and water to those living inside the “walled city”.
This “community” will be run entirely on “renewable energy,” which is energy from a source that is not depleted when used.
Wind or solar power are the two most cited but there’s also geothermal, hydropower and biomass from plants.
Now , just for sake of discussion, couldn’t petroleum and natural gas be a “biomass” energy source?
Biomass energy is generated or produced by living or once-living organisms.
I’ll bet there was a time when we humans thought that was an energy source that would be available forever and a day. Today, corn and soybeans are the most common form of biomass energy sources from plants.
So here’s Saudi Arabia, sitting atop a lot of petroleum (not as much as the US has, mind you) and they’re working on “The Line”.
Makes the cynical me wonder, what’s wrong with this picture?
The biggest argument against using our oil and coal is air pollution, but until we get China and India, to name a few, to “clean up their act”, to blame us (US) for the world’s pollution woes is just a bit off target, in my opinion.
I’ll be interested in watching “The Line” be constructed, but I have concerns/questions about the 1.5 million Saudis living in a space providing them but 222 square feet each.
Sure, they’ll be able to travel from one end of “The Line” to the other in 20 minutes on a high-speed train, but how many times can you do that before you’re bored out of your gourd?
Granted, that may be a typical response from an American who values his “elbow room”.
As a youngster, I once thought it would be great to live at Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky, OH.
It wasn’t walled, but I eventually figured out you couldn’t live for ever on Friar Tuck’s french fries. Besides, it’s called “The Line” and I’ve stood in more than my share of them in my lifetime.
John Foster anchors “All-News-in-the-Morning” weekdays on 1010 WCSI-AM and 98.1 FM. You can read his weekly blog at johnnyonthespot1950.com and monthly in The Republic. Send comments to [email protected]