Saudi Arabia - NEOM, the developer of a mega Saudi futuristic city, has opened its inaugural international exhibition in Venice, Italy. It marks the launch of Zero Gravity Urbanism concept and the design principles behind its groundbreaking linear city - THE LINE.

More than 20 of the world’s leading architects, designers and future thinkers led the opening event for NEOM’s debut global expo.

Sir Peter Cook, Massimiliano Fuksas, Jean Nouvel and Ben van Berkel were among the world-renowned architects who joined CEO Nadhmi Al-Nasr and other representatives from NEOM leadership on stage.

Their presence marked their collective contribution to the development of the principles of Zero Gravity Urbanism, and reflected the global significance of this moment.

They were joined by more than 100 other architects and urban experts at the opening reception at the historic Abbazia di San Gregorio in Venice.

Set in one of Venice's oldest buildings, the exhibition's focal point is a large-scale 9x13m relief plan of NEOM set in in the central courtyard, reflecting THE LINE’s minimal and harmonious interaction with its natural environment and its passage through coastal, mountain and desert landscapes.

According to NEOM, the Zero Gravity Urbanism is a linear and three-dimensional concept that provides an innovative alternative to its current urban model.

Created to address key challenges, including a growing demand for urban land, rising social and economic inequalities, and climate change, it is a model for developing cities with a radical approach to nature conservation, livability and human progress.

NEOM’s landmark architecture exhibition Zero Gravity Urbanism - Principles for a New Livability is now open to visitors and will run until September 24.

Zero Gravity Urbanism represents one of the most significant proposals on how cities could be designed and built to have been put forward in generations.

NEOM Chief Urban Planning Officer Antoni Vives said: "Brought to life in Venice through the design proposals and intellectual contribution of the world’s leading architects and urban thinkers, Zero Gravity Urbanism represents a proposal of how humanity can better respond to the urban challenges we face globally."

Executive Director of Urban Planning Tarek Qaddumi said: "Tonight represented an important next step onto the global stage for Zero Gravity Urbanism, as the world’s wider architecture community now has the opportunity to see the depth of thinking and work that has gone into this incredible project from so many prominent thinkers and architects."

NEOM, he stated, is presenting a series of talks from leading architects, academics and urban thinkers on the sidelines of the exhibition.

Connecting pressing global challenges with viable urban solutions, the relief plan’s surrounding cloisters and exhibition rooms present concepts, drawings and models created by the international architecture community in response to these global challenges, he added.

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