Billionaire Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is set to build a new “smart city” with a population of almost 200,000 people, according to Independent.
Belmont Partners, an investment firm run by the Microsoft co-founder has invested $80 million in the project, which will be “forward-thinking” and have “cutting-edge” technologies at its core.
It has purchased 24,800 acres of land, which will be used for schools, housing, offices and commercial and retail space.
Gates’ futuristic city will be built in southwestern Arizona, and will be called Belmont.
It will have 80,000 residential units, says Belmont Partners, which will give it a population of around 182,000.
“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, reports KPNX.
“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,” it added.
It isn’t yet known when construction will begin, but Gates’ vision appears to echo that of Google, which is set to create Quayside, its own high-tech community, in Toronto.
Quayside will feature flexible buildings that can be completely reconfigured at speed, and Google will even attempt to “mitigate” the weather, to encourage people to spend more time outside.
It’s described as “the world’s first neighbourhood built from the internet up”, and Google hopes to turn it into “a blueprint for the 21st-century urban neighbourhood”.