Have you seen the movie Snowpiercer? What about the TV show by the same name? The film takes place in a post-apocalyptic future where climate change has caused the world to freeze. The only remnants of humanity live on a high-speed train that continuously circles the globe to prevent it from freezing.
The back of the train is reserved for the lowest-class citizens who shovel coal and work to keep the train running. They live off of rations and believe everyone else on the train is in the same situation. They, of course, are wrong as every car is a little better than the previous leading up to the lavish luxury in the front of the train.
This story has played out time and time again in entertainment. Pierce Brown’s fantastic Red Rising series plays on the same theme, as does the Hunger Games, and, well, you get the point. It’s a great theme where the underdog, the oppressed, rise, discover their horrific living conditions at the hands of the wealthy, and do everything possible to burn it all down. Get ready because this theme will likely play out in the Saudi Arabian desert.
The Saudi Crown Prince wants to build two 150-story horizontal skyscraper cities that mirror each other and run 75 miles in length. The projected project will run from the coast, cross a mountain range, and run into the desert. The project will cost an estimated trillion dollars (likely more).
While the whole project screams opulence, you can already see what’s likely to happen if the project completes: the wealthiest inhabitants will find themselves in the lap of luxury on the coastal units while those without means (or, let’s face it, far fewer means) will live in the desert. A 75-mile trek through the horizontal skyscraper city to get to the coast.
Akin to the 60s moonshot, the Crown Prince wants this never-before-done feat of engineering completed by 2030. With five million projected residents, I look forward to the first sci-fi turned reality stories to start emerging shortly after.
Would you live in a horizontal skyscraper city?