Published: Tue, November 14, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Bill Gates invests $115 million to build 'smart city' in Arizona

Bill Gates invests $115 million to build 'smart city' in Arizona

Replace Stark with Bill Gates and place the City of the Future on 20,000 acres west of Phoenix, Arizona, and we have our real-life story.

Billionaire Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is set to build a new "smart city" with a population of nearly 200,000 people, according to Independent.

The company said: "Belmont will transform a raw, blank slate into a purpose-built edge city built around a flexible infrastructure model". The undeveloped land is about 45 minutes outside of Phoenix.

It has purchased 24,800 acres of land, which will be used for schools, housing, offices and commercial and retail space.

In an interview with KPNX, Ronald Schott, executive emeritus at the Arizona Technology Council, applauded the decision by Belmont Partners and Gates to create the project in Tonopah. One of Gates' investment firms has already solidified the plans by devoting $80 million to the project.

A fresh start is very hard to achieve in building the cities of the future-unless, of course, you're Bill Gates.Once upon a time, when science fiction authors thought of the future, they imagined glistening towers of glass and steel, in perpetually lovely environments.

Arizona, which neighbours California, home to tech hub Silicon Valley, has always been trying to become the go-to place for innovative technology companies.

Over the past two years Waymo, Google's driverless vehicle business, Uber, Lyft, General Motors (NYSE: GM - news) and Intel (Euronext: INCO.NX - news) have been testing hundreds of autonomous cars in the city of Phoenix.

"Property records list the investment group's tax mailing address as the Kirkland, Washington, headquarters for Cascade, and an office for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation", said news site AZ Central.

There's no word on when construction will start or even when they hope to have the city completed. A proposed freeway, to be called Interstate 11, would connect Belmont to Las Vegas, Reno and Mexico, making it a good location for a brand new community. "Finally Arizona's getting recognized for being a place for innovation".

"Belmont is an incredible opportunity for the state of Arizona", Grady Gammage, Jr., an attorney representing Belmont Partners, said in a statement.

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