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We posted Dream Red Sea on shore mega Smart City  reiterating the news of Saudi Arabia that is in a move to diversify its economy, planning to develop a mega smart city on the shore of the Red Sea. This could perhaps be, as it were, an artificially created and nurtured urbanisation scheme amidst the now upcoming worldwide trend of de-urbanization, could it not. In any case, we republish here under, excerpts of 2 articles highlighting both ends of this story.

 

Saudi Arabia Just Unveiled a Futuristic “Mega City” 33 Times The Size of NYC

Middle Eastern Mega City

Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest oil exporter, but falling oil prices have made it more difficult for the country to pay its oil workers.

Now the Saudi Arabian government has come up with a project that could give its economy a boost: a $500 billion mega-city that will connect to Jordan and Egypt and be powered completely by renewable energy.

On Tuesday, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced the project, called NEOM, at the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh. It will be financed by the Saudi government and private investors, according to Reuters.

A screenshot from the “Discover NEOM” website. Image Credit: Discover NEOM

The business and industrial-focused city will span 10,230 square miles. To put that size in perspective, 10,230 square miles is more than 33 times the land area of New York City.

NEOM’s larger goal is to lessen Saudi Arabia’s reliance on oil exports, which could expand the country’s economy beyond oil,  bin Salman said at the conference. The city will focus on a variety of industries, including energy and water, biotechnology, food, advanced manufacturing, and entertainment. Saudi Arabia hasn’t released a masterplan yet for what it will look like.

No Fossil Fuels Allowed

The country appointed Klaus Kleinfeld, a former chief executive of Siemens AG and Alcoa Inc, to run the NEOM project. Officials hope that a funding program, which includes selling 5% of oil giant Saudi Aramco, will raise $300 billion for NEOM’s construction.

The project could make NEOM one of the largest cities to run without fossil fuels. In the US, one of the largest cities to run on 100% renewable energy is Burlington, Vermont, which doesn’t come close to the planned size of NEOM. Cities in Iceland and Norway also claim to be close to achieving entirely renewable electrical grids with help from natural resources like hydropower and geothermal heat.

Click to View Full Infographic

Saudi Arabia expects to complete NEOM’s first section by 2025.

“This place is not for conventional people or conventional companies, this will be a place for the dreamers for the world,” bin Salman said on a panel at the conference. “The strong political will and the desire of a nation. All the success factors are there to create something big in Saudi Arabia.”

‘We will soon see the end of urbanization’ Image: REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

Why I won’t buy a house in any city – and neither should you

31 Oct 2017 by Yori Kamphuis, Co-founder, Coblue Cybersecurity

I was visiting business banks – the likes of Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Barclays – in The City of London one particular week in 2008. While bankers kept spirits as high as spending levels at first, meetings were shortened or cancelled later in the week. I was witnessing the pinnacle of the financial crisis in the very heart of London, arguably the most interesting week in the business banking world in the past 80 years.

The subprime mortgage market was a major cause of this crisis. Chances are the next crisis will focus on cities, because we will soon see the end of urbanization.

The why of urbanization

Urbanization has been happening for decades with good reason: cities provide numerous benefits to people. You wouldn’t see large factories running at full speed filled with hundreds of workers in the midst of vast nothingness. Commuting, transportation time and costs of both raw materials and finished goods would be problems.

Proximity lets you reduce commuting time and expenses. The more people who live nearby, the larger your sales market is. Cities also offer job and education opportunities as stores, service providers and factories are nearby. When more people live close together economies of scale can be achieved, allowing for more educational variety. Proximity also allows the cost of infrastructure, such as roads, sewers and electricity lines, to be shared. This culminates in cities becoming magnets of wealth, money, services, opportunities and people.

Doesn’t that mean we will continue to live in cities? I think not, because of the fourth industrial revolution.

Please the full articles in their respective websites.

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