Twitter users drew comparisons to dystopian horror Wednesday after Saudi Arabia shared an advertisement for a titanic megacity project it has proposed.
The project, simply referred to as “The Line,” is a smart megacity project being proposed in the planned city of Neom, in the northwestern part of the country. The ambitious project will be just 200 meters, or about 650 feet wide and 500 meters, or about 1,600 feet tall, but is planned to stretch for 170 kilometers, or just under 106 miles long. The project’s website claims that once it is completed, the city will be home to some 9 million residents on a total footprint of just 34 square kilometers.
“For too long, humanity has existed within dysfunctional and polluted cities that ignore nature,” a promotional video for the project says. “Now, a revolution in civilization is taking place. Imagine a traditional city, and consolidating its footprint, designing to protect and enhance nature.”
The video claims that The Line is being designed to “provide a healthier, more sustainable quality of life.”
The Line’s website promotes the futuristic megacity as operating on 100% renewable energy, and preserving 95% of the surrounding land for nature. The city will be built as a series of individual nodes connected by a high-speed rail system that can travel the length of the city in just 20 minutes. The city is divided into three layers: two layers underground for transportation and infrastructure, and the surface layer, which will be exclusively for pedestrians. There will be no cars or roads, and the website claims that all residents will be able to access their daily necessities within 5-minute walk neighborhoods.
The website also touts the city’s micro-climate, created by “natural ventilation,” creating the “ideal climate all-year-round.” The promotional video further explains that the city will be surrounded by a mirrored glass facade, and will provide “equitable views” and an “immediate access to nature.”
The city will also be driven by AI technology. The promotional video says that services will be autonomous, and artificial intelligence, working with data analysis and predictive models, will figure out ways to improve daily life.
Twitter users reacted to the promotional video on Twitter, with nearly all users comparing it to a work of dystopian horror fiction.
“I never seen something more dystopian,” user @adara_salim tweeted.
“Saudi Arabia figured out a way to cram all the city-dwelling libs into a giant wall that they never have to leave and convinced them it’s really cool and progressive,” The Daily Wire’s Michael Knowles added. “If we can build it on the southern border, Mohammad bin Salman deserves a Nobel Prize.”
“This remake of Blade Runner is a little disturbing,” CBS News anchor John Dickerson wrote.
“How is this not a dystopian video game trailer?” games journalist Ryan Brown tweeted.
“So…..Snowpiercer….But it doesn’t move…But guaranteed to have the same class stratification,” journalism professor and MSNBC contributor Jason Johnson added.
“I’d rather be dead than live in something like this,” The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh wrote.
“Is this something out of a dystopian film? Because this feels like a video you’d see in a dystopian film,” @strangeland_elf commented.
“What in the Phillip K. Dick?” user @anthony_hyphen tweeted.
According to Bloomberg, earthwork on the city began in October 2021, and the first residents are projected to move in by 2024.