Designed from scratch to act as a new global industrial and commercial hub, the mega-development, called NEOM, will also serve as an economic engine for growth in the now-barren region. With half a trillion dollars and a fleet of the world's top consultants the Saudi Crown Prince hopes to redesign the way his citizens will live in the future. NEOM is being promoted as a showpiece urban trophy that will serve as a testbed for technologies that could revolutionize daily life in the future.
The city-building exercise is described as a tech-forward urban arena the likes of which the world has never seen, where residents will live in harmony with their environment, relying on desalination plants and a fully renewable electric grid among other key technological accouterments. Building a global hub from scratch isn’t without precedent in the arid region; just 30 years ago, most of Dubai itself was empty sand. For as long as there have been cities, city planners have been redesigning the way residents live.
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