Microsoft founder Bill Gates is planning to build a smart city in Arizona, according to a report in Popular Mechanics. A group controlled by Cascade Investment LLC – an investment firm run by Gates – has invested approximately $80m (£61m) to buy nearly 25,000 acres of undeveloped land in Arizona for building a planned community of the future, which will be called 'Belmont'.
The land, located in an area called West Valley – some 45 minutes west of Phoenix, will see the development of commercial as well as residential units.
Out of the 25,000 acres, some 3,800 acres would be used for offices and commercial spaces, 470 acres would be used for public schools, while the remaining area would be used to accommodate as many as 80,000 residential units, among other features.
According to the report, Belmont Partners, the real estate company involved in the multi-million dollar deal, said, "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 centres, new manufacturing technologies and distribution models, autonomous vehicles and autonomous logistics hubs."
Larry Yount, Manager of Belmont Partners, added, "The Belmont development exemplifies the big picture-thinking that has been a unique hallmark of Arizona's history of economic development. Belmont illustrates that Arizona remains at the leading edge of trends in American urban planning and development keying off of advances in solar power and electric distribution systems, autonomous auto testing, broadband and data centres."
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.
Apart from this, not many details have been revealed about the planned community.
Also, there is no word on when the construction will begin or is expected to be completed, but it is likely that the planned project will draw more funding as it moves ahead.