Bill Gates is Buying Land in Arizona to Build a "Smart City"
14 November, 2017, 20:48
It's not clear how involved Gates will be in Belmont, but the smart city's goals appear similar to those of Alphabet and Amazon.
Belmont Partners, one of the Microsoft (Euronext: MSF.NX - news) founder's investment firms, has spent $80m (£61.1m) on buying and developing the new community near Tonopah, west of Phoenix.
In the press release of the Arizona based real-estate group, Belmont Partners said that the smart city-Belmont would make and encourage an advanced-thinking community with the connectivity and structural framework that encircles cutting edge technology, data centers, novel manufacturing techniques and distribution designs, self-driven automobiles, and autonomous logistics centers.
Belmont Properties stated that the land "will transform a raw, blank slate into a purpose-built edge city built around a flexible infrastructure model".
Now an undeveloped patch of desert 45 minutes west of Phoenix, the future of Belmont might hinge on old-fashioned infrastructure.
In the proposed plan, 3,800 acres will be zoned for commercial and office space, and another 470 acres will assigned to public schooling, with projected housing for 80,000. Originally built as an interconnected smart city meant to lure global investment, the majority of residents are now South Koreans who have been priced out of Seoul.
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Arizona Technology Council's Executive Emeritus Ronald Schott said that Bill Gates is known for innovation and he has picked a "good spot".
Arizona, which neighbours California, home to tech hub Silicon Valley, has always been trying to become the go-to place for innovative technology companies. Several big players working on autonomous vehicles including Intel, Uber and Waymo are testing innovations in Arizona.
The land around 50 miles (80 kilometres) west of Phoenix sits on the proposed route of the Interstate 11 freeway, which will connect the state capital and Las Vegas if it goes ahead.
And while it seems like Belmont could bring some much-needed attention to a place which gets little, the city of the future sounds slightly like a vanity project for Bill Gates.
A fresh start is very hard to achieve in building the cities of the future-unless, of course, you're Bill Gates.Once upon a time, when science fiction authors thought of the future, they imagined glistening towers of glass and steel, in perpetually lovely environments.
Details on when construction will start have yet to be provided. He's coming to Arizona.
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