Is Bill Gates building a 'smart city', or his own personal SimCity?

Mae Love
November 13, 2017

An investment firm run by Microsoft founder Bill Gates is buying up 25,000 acres in Arizona to create a planned community.

The "smart city" will be named Belmont and will feature up to 80,000 residential units. The goal of the firm is to turn the land into a "smart city" called Belmont, according to a report.

Mr Gates' goal is to create a smart city called Belmont on the almost 25,000 acres of land. According to information, it will include an area for 80,000 homes, two square kilometers for public schools and sprawling for offices, commercial buildings and retail outlets.

In a press release, the company said it planned to build "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".

Ronald Schott, the executive emeritus at the Arizona Technology Council, not only hailed Gates' initiative but also noted that he picked the right spot for the community as the proposed Interstate 11 freeway running from Mexico to Reno, Nevada will run through the futuristic city.

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If you want to take up residency at Bill Gates' connected city of Belmont, you're going to have to wait.

Ronald Schott, executive emeritus at the Arizona Technology Council, said the location will be flawless for a new city as the proposed I-11 freeway will run right through its centre and connect it to Las Vegas.

The new smart city will use new technologies, including autonomous vehicles, which are now being tested on local public roads thanks to a relaxation of Arizona laws.

"Finally Arizona's getting recognized for being a place for innovation", added Schott.

The first truly smart city for the United States will not be an easy task to complete despite the initial $80 million funding available for the project. Belmont Partners has yet to announce when construction will begin.

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