Saudi Plans to Join Zero-Car City Club Following Sustainable Tourism

Covid-19 has pushed all countries to speed up their initiatives towards ‘sustainability’ and ‘carbon neutrality’ as the two terms have become hot topics across the aviation and travel industry. Post witnessing a glimpse of what future could look like if we continue living like we do, several countries are focusing on the concept of ‘zero-car city’.

Following the norm/philosophy, Saudi Arabia has announced the launch of an eco-city as a part of its $500 billion project called ‘Neom’. The development of this zero-car city will further encourage the concept of zero streets and zero carbon emissions in the crude exporter country.

Labelled as ‘The Line’, Saudi’s zero-car city will be constructed by the Red Sea coast with a length of 170 kilometres to the benefit of a million residents. The revolutionising city will include pristine deserts, blue seas, schools, health centres and high-speed public transportation. Travellers visiting this city in future will be able to commute faster as no journey is expected to take over 20 minutes. Even though Saudi’s future vision is quite optimistic, it is a matter of concern if the country should consider spending a huge amount the fulfilment of this project at a time when its economy is struggling due to Covid induced losses.

Meanwhile, the idea of zero-car cities has been in existence in several countries much before the pandemic shook the global economy.

There are also some pedestrian streets which attract travellers who like to go for responsible trips.

One such place is Norway’s capital Oslo. Initially the city authorities started removing a thousand parking spots from the streets and later encouraged residents as well as tourists to opt public transportation. To promote the use of electric vehicles, the city is luring buyers by offering purchasing incentives as well.

Although the zero-car city initiative is pushed forth mostly by government authorities, increased consciousness about carbon neutrality and sustainability during Covid-19 has encouraged local residents to raise their voice in many places. Recently, the residents of England’s Brighton and Hove city have recommended authorities to build a car-free city centre wherein cycles could be used freely. The proposal put forth is part of a bigger plan termed — ‘Liveable City Centre’, which will help England achieve its goals to carbon emissions.

By working towards the zero-car city initiative, countries across the world are increasing their value in the future tourists’ world, wherein travellers would be more interested in visiting places that are conscious about the harm they are causing to the environment. With this conscious contribution, countries like Saudi, UAE, Qatar, UK and Brussels are preparing for a better future.

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