Bill Gates plans smart city for Arizona

One of the richest men in the world wants to build its own city and fulfill a tech dream for people to enjoy. Image Compfight

Will you move to Bill Gates' smart city to start your own family if given the opportunity?

Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates put down $80 million for a massive swath of land in Arizona, about 45 minutes west of downtown Phoenix, KPNX reports.

The city will have a "communication and infrastructure spine that embraces cutting-edge technology", says Belmont Partners, designed around high-speed digital networks, data centres, new manufacturing technologies and distribution models, driverless vehicles, and autonomous logistics hubs.

A new investment firm called Mt. Lemmon invested the $80 million to get the project off the ground. The ex-CEO of Microsoft recently slipped from the place of the world's richest man, but still, his wealth is beyond the imagination of most of us. Representatives of Gates have not responded to GeekWire's inquiries on the issue nor confirmed the connection between him and Mt. Lemmon.

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Over the past two years Waymo, Google's driverless vehicle business, Uber, Lyft, General Motors and Intel have been testing hundreds of autonomous cars in the city of Phoenix. The new community will include 3,800 acres of office, commercial, and real estate facilities, in addition to 470 acres of public schools and about 80,000 homes.

Belmont will be a "forward-thinking" city which will make Arizona a tech hub to rival California's Silicon Valley. "Envisioning future infrastructure from scratch is far easier and more cost-efficient than retrofitting an existing urban fabric".

Gates sees the city, tentatively named "Belmont", as a chance to build information networking into the bedrock of any future development there. While now without water or electricity, the city's growth would also be driven by the completion of I-11, an interstate highway connecting Phoenix to Las Vegas, Nevada. "He's coming to Arizona", Ronald Schott, executive emeritus at the Arizona Technology Council, told WPNX. While the highway is tentatively set to complete construction in 2018, no timetables for Belmont have been publicly announced yet. "Finally Arizona's getting recognized for being a place for innovation".

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