Bill Gates has invested 80 million dollars in land in Arizona which is one day set to be the location of a smart city. Along with his partners, the multi-billionaire intends to build a city featuring the latest in high technology. No date has yet been set for the official opening ceremony, however.
Bill Gates’ investment fund Cascade Investment LLC recently purchased 10,000 hectares of land in the state of Arizona, with the intention of building a smart city. The municipality of Tonopah, some 80 kilometres west of Phoenix, was the location chosen by the Microsoft founder, who invested 80 million dollars (around 68 million euros) in the purchase.
80,000 homes for 160,000 people
The municipality currently only has 1,400 inhabitants in its current lay-out, according to the website Objet Connecté. Due to the Gates acquisition however, the area around Tonopah is set to become a "smart city" by the name of Belmont, which could one day be home to 160,000 people. According to Belmont Partners, which is the real estate company in charge of the transformation, the project will see the construction of no fewer than 80,000 residences.
Highway under construction to link up the smart city
The evolution of desert land into a smart city is set to take a number of years, with those behind the project yet to set a date and the promoter’s lawyers talking of the project as being very long-term due to the sheer scale of the task at hand. As well as the accommodation, industrial structures and areas spreading over 1,500 hectares will also have to be built, with 1,400 hectares of parkland and 190 hectares dedicated to teaching establishments which will also be included. Furthermore, the hi-tech city will be connected to the surrounding area via the Interstate 11 – a highway which links Las Vegas in Nevada to the Mexican border – with construction having got under way in August.
Clouds, data centres and driverless vehicles
Belmont’s transformation into a smart city will use equipment based on all kinds of hi-tech innovations aimed at the general public. This is set to include driverless transport, cutting-edge factories, data centres, clouds and other types of ultra-modern communications infrastructure. With an investment of this type, Gates is clearly focusing on projects which will enable the development of new technologies and the implementation of recently devised systems in an actual living environment.
The richest man on the planet, as he is often portrayed, and his partners have a very clear idea of what they wish to achieve, most notably the creation of "a progressive society (…) which has adopted leading technology", according to a Belmont Partners press release reported by CBS News.
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