Tech billionaire Bill Gates has invested in a huge patch of land west of Phoenix, Arizona, with the intention of building a new smart city. The city will be built on the almost 25,000 acres of land in southwestern Arizona that has purchased for the construction. The city would be called "Belmont" and is anticipated to accept and to encourage the use of modern technology and innovation. The firm also plans to build 80,000 residential units on the land.
"Belmont will create a forward-thinking community with a communication and infrastructure spine that embraces cutting-edge technology, designed around high-speed digital networks, data centers, new manufacturing technologies and distribution models, autonomous vehicles and autonomous logistics hubs", the group says in a news release.
Over the past two years Waymo, Google's driverless vehicle business, Uber, Lyft, General Motors (NYSE: GM - news) and Intel (Euronext: INCO.NX - news) have been testing hundreds of autonomous cars in the city of Phoenix.
Belmont Partners, a real investment group based in Arizona leads the project and said it would be similar to the size of Tempe, Arizona, which is nearby, and has a population of approximately 182,000.
Ronald Schott, executive emeritus at the Arizona Technology Council, said the location will be ideal for a new city as the proposed I-11 freeway will run right through its centre and connect it to Las Vegas. The traffic to and from such a major city of Las Vegas would help the city to thrive on its own. It has a prime location, plenty of space, and not much else.
What do you think about Bill Gates' smart city?
The developers from Belmont are counting on Interstate 11 being developed, which will serve that area, to boost overall development, but at this point the company is not rushing too fast. Sadly, Arcosanti's ambitious goal of demonstrating the efficiency of a smartly planned city never quite came to pass. Perhaps one day in the not-too-far-off future, the terms will be the same - as all our cities will be "smart cities".
Originally built as an interconnected smart city meant to lure worldwide investment, the majority of residents are now South Koreans who have been priced out of Seoul.