Economy

Bill Gates plans smart city for Arizona

Bill Gates plans smart city for Arizona

If you go 45 minutes west of Arizona, you'll see huge swathes of empty land in the West Valley.

The highway's first phase of construction is expected to be completed within the next year.

Though the process of building a smart, connected city rarely happens in this manner. Think it sounds like a dreamt-up utopia? A group controlled by Cascade Investment LLC - an investment firm run by Gates - has invested approximately $80m (£61m) to buy almost 25,000 acres of undeveloped land in Arizona for building a planned community of the future, which will be called "Belmont".

The investment firm Cascade Investment LLC, which is owned by the Microsoft boss, has just funded the 25,000-acre project in partnership with real-estate investment company, Belmont Partners.

Belmont Partners released a statement explaining the community will have 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".

This smart city is supposed to be called "Belmont" and it will include space for 80,000 homes and 470 acres for public schools.

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The 25,000-acre land will be divvied up in a way that most benefits the Belmont community.

The location is also said to be "in the desert", which gives Belmont Partners the ability to build the city on a clean slate instead of needing to tear down existing infrastructure.

Mr Gates, the world's second richest man after Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, plans to make driverless cars the norm in the new city.

Mr Gates' decision to build his new city in Arizona will be a major boost for the state which has lifted many rules on self-driving vehicles to become a tech hub. Unlike in a game though, Belmont might end up a mess that can't be fixed with the press of a Start Over button. So, if you're willing to move to this new city, you may have to wait a bit longer.

Few other details have been revealed about the new city, and it has not yet been announced when construction will begin.


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