One of the smartest men in the world — Bill Gates — has plans to create a “Smart City” in the desert of Arizona. Days ago, an investment firm run by Gates paid $80 million to purchase 25,000 acres of land located approximately 45 minutes west of Phoenix. The area, called West Valley, will be named Belmont and will be as progressive as it gets.
“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,” said Belmont Partners, the Arizona real estate investment company, said in a press release.
Ronald Schott, the executive emeritus at the Arizona Technology Council, says the proposed freeway I-11 (which would connect Las Vegas and Belmont) is an “ideal spot” for the new community. 3,800 acres of the entire property will be used for office, retail and commercial space. 470 acres will be used for public schools. That leaves 80,000 acres for residential units and houses.
Said Belmont Properties, “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.”
Popular Mechanics reports that this is the second intentional community to be built in the area to “optimize urban life.” About one hour north of Phoenix is the town of Arcosanti. It was built by architect Paolo Soleri in the 1970’s and seeks to integrate architecture and ecology.
Arcosanti is home to about 80 permanent residents. Most are employed by the Soleri’s non-profit, Cosanti Foundation. According to Motherboard, each member has a “role” in the intentional community and uses their services to contribute to the whole. Similar to other company towns, the Cosanti Foundation subsidizes its employees’ meals and apartments. It then pays them US minimum wage. Though the wage isn’t much, it’s enough for the residents of Arcosanti, as they are motivated by something far more rewarding than money: the creation of a city where humans live in harmony with nature and one another.
Said Jeff Stein, Arcosanti’s executive director, “We’re here to be a part of the landscape, not in spite of it. The point of all Soleri’s architecture is connection: How do you connect people to one another and to their surroundings?” Cool fact: George Lucas visited Arcosanti in the 1970’s and allegedly based the architecture in Star Wars’ Tattooine on structures found in the intentional community.
Though few details are known about Gates’ “smart city,” we at EWAO hypothesize green technologies will be at the forefront of development. By relying on renewable energy, the city can become self-sufficient. And by installing indoor vertical gardens, enough food could be produced to support a large percentage of the populace.
We look forward to learning more about the proposed city. What are your thoughts? Please comment below and share this news!
Source: Popular Mechanics