Why Linear Cities Don’t Work (5 Reasons)



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Neom’s Line is a 170km long city that is no wider than a city block. It’s extreme shape runs along transportation networks and promises an efficient and futuristic urban design and lifestyle. However, Linear cities have been around for more than a hundred years, yet they are rarely built. Why not? Why are lines not considered great shapes for cities? From poor access to public transportation to a lack of social cohesion, linear cities can suffer from a number of issues that make them less livable than more traditional, compact urban forms. This video breaks down the top reasons linear cities have either failed or not been built, despite dozens of proposals since their invention in the late 1800s.

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Architecture with Stewart is a YouTube journey exploring architecture’s deep and enduring stories in all their bewildering glory. Weekly videos and occasional live events breakdown a wide range of topics related to the built environment in order to increase their general understanding and advocate their importance in shaping the world we inhabit.

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Stewart Hicks is an architectural design educator that leads studios and lecture courses as an Associate Professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He also serves as an Associate Dean in the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts and is the co-founder of the practice Design With Company. His work has earned awards such as the Architecture Record Design Vanguard Award or the Young Architect’s Forum Award and has been featured in exhibitions such as the Chicago Architecture Biennial and Design Miami, as well as at the V&A Museum and Tate Modern in London. His writings can be found in the co-authored book Misguided Tactics for Propriety Calibration, published with the Graham Foundation, as well as essays in MONU magazine, the AIA Journal Manifest, Log, bracket, and the guest-edited issue of MAS Context on the topic of character architecture.

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