Enterprise Architects and their Emerging Role in Futuristic Cities

Sindalah, the first luxury island development in NEOM, northwest Saudi Arabia (copyright: NEOM Company)

By Malahat Qureshi, Chief Enterprise Architect

The City of Neom, a beacon of modern architecture and technological innovation, stands as a testament to the value that enterprise architects can bring to urban development. 

As enterprise architects, we participate and amplify the architectural significance of Neom’s groundbreaking projects and how they redefine the essence of city living in modern times.

Neom, envisioned as a cross-border city in the northwest of Saudi Arabia, is not just an urban area, but a bold leap into the future of sustainable living and technological advancement. The architects behind Neom’s design have embraced the challenge of creating a city that meets today’s standards and pioneers the path for tomorrow. Their work is a blend of art, science, and technology, aiming to create functional and inspiring spaces.

The architectural value of Neom is evident through its commitment to sustainability and innovation. The city’s master plan includes a 170km long skyscraper known as “The Line,” a unique experiment in a new way of living. This structure, designed to house 9 million residents, will feature public parks, schools, homes, and workplaces, all within a footprint of 34 sq km. The Line is a direct reflection of the architect’s ability to think beyond traditional cityscapes and propose a linear urban environment that prioritizes human well-being and environmental preservation.

Technological Innovations

Technological innovations are at the heart of Neom’s development. The city aims to become the world’s first hyper-connected cognitive community, powered by a digital infrastructure seamlessly integrating with the physical world. Architects and designers are tasked with creating buildings and spaces that are aesthetically pleasing and embedded with intelligent technologies that enhance the quality of life. Neom’s architecture is designed to be as thoughtful as beautiful, from AI-enabled medical diagnostics to environmentally friendly transport systems.

Architects play a foundational part in this process by balancing the allure of cutting-edge technology with the responsibility of creating safe, inclusive, and beneficial spaces. Their designs are expected to meet the most pressing global challenges, such as climate change, by developing intelligent, technology-driven solutions.

In conclusion, architectural thinking outside the box and addressing modern societal changes and challenges to build the modern City of Neom is multifaceted. It lies in the physical structures being erected and the visionary approach to urban living that these buildings represent. Architects are the harbingers of change, using their skills to merge form with function, beauty with utility, and innovation with sustainability. Neom is a shining example of how architecture can shape the future, making it a place where technology and human-centric design coalesce to create a better world for all.