Saudi Arabia begins construction on ambitious 105-mile-long car-free city

Oil-rich Saudi Arabia has started work on a massive 105-mile-long 'eco-city' -and says that there will be no cars in sight when it is finished.

New plans for The Line, a futuristic hub of multiple urban areas that will be built along a central 'spine' in the desert, have been unveiled this week.

MailOnline reports that the ambitious blueprint for the desert complex includes a three-level underground transport network, which will be operated by AI, and a pledge that no journey will take longer than 20 minutes.

'Autonomous mobility solutions' and high-speed rail means that it will never be necessary to have a car when in the area, it is proposed.

It is also claimed that all electricity used will be 'clean energy', and that the entire 'line' region will be carbon neutral. It is hoped that new residents and tourists will arrive as soon as 2024.

The Line will be one section of the larger 10,000 square metre city-state named 'Neom' that will be built in the country at a cost of a whopping $500 billion.

It will represent a major step towards moving Saudia Arabia away from an oil-based economy and towards becoming a Silicon Valley-style technology hub.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman first announced the ambitious new phase of project back in January in a televised speech to the Middle Eastern nation, and bulldozers have already moved in to begin work on the city network.

However, project manager Nadhmi Al-Nasr has told Bloomberg this week that this is 'not even one percent' of the huge tunneling and earth-moving operation that will be necessary for its construction.

He said: “It’s a huge undertaking.

“Today if you go to Neom you will see construction all over, you will see earthworks going on all over, you will see regions that are being developed.”

The plans have not been without their fair share of controversy so far, however.

An attempt to evict a community from the Huwaitat area to make way for Neom last year resulted in violence and arrests. A member of one of the tribes affected claimed that she was sent death threats for discussing the relocations, and was told that she would be tracked down to her home in London.

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