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“Gatesville” – a smart city in Arizona

Bill Gates just purchased 25,000 acres of land in Arizona to begin construction on a new ‘smart city’ dubbed “Belmont” which is named after one of Gates’ investment firms, Belmont Partners.
 
He has invested $80m into the 25,000 acre space — and when it’s complete, it will contain 80,000 residential units and a population of around 182,000 people, one would suspect, mostly nerds.  I think I will apply instantly for the Coca-Cola and Crisps franchise.
 
This property is just 45 minutes outside of Phoenix, already the fastest growing city in the US with a growth of over 1000 people a week.  On that basis alone it looks like a great investment.
 

 
The smart city will be designed to feature high-speed networks, data centers, autonomous cars and vehicles, new manufacturing technologies, congestion minimizing traffic lights and automated logistics hubs. Comparable in square miles and projected population to Tempe, Arizona, Belmont will transform a raw, blank slate into a purpose-built edge city built around a flexible infrastructure model.
 
The concept of smart cities is something that’s steadily gained pace over the past few years. Last month, Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs struck a deal to turn an area of Toronto into an “internet city,” where 800 acres of land will be equipped with modern technology like self-driving cars, smart street lights, and public Wi-Fi. The project included a $50 million commitment from Sidewalk Labs to install and test the company’s smart city technology. The company is also aiming to transform an additional 16 cities s into tech-friendly “laboratories.”
 
Gates plans to populate the city with around 3,800 acres of offices, stores, and homes while keeping around 470 acres for public schools.  The city will transform a raw, blank slate into a purpose-built city built with a flexible infrastructure model.
 
While this plan is ambitious it isn’t exactly new. Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has plans to build a new $500 billion metropolis spanning three countries, and India plans to build 100 other smart cities.
 
But with the UN predicting that 2.5 billion people will migrate into cities by 2050, they all seem to have the same goals in mind: to bring a new, progressive focus into city living by improving infrastructure for the people who wish to live there
Posted on November 16, 2017

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