Bill Gates Plans for ‘Smart City’ in Ariz.

November 15, 2017

Microsoft founder Bill Gates wants to smarten up city planning and make cities more high-tech. The billionaire’s real estate investment firm has paid $80 million for a large plot of land in Arizona to develop into a “smart city.”

Cascade Investment, an investment group owned by Gates, purchased nearly 25,000 acres in Tonopah, which is about 50 miles west of Phoenix. The desert land currently is mostly undeveloped.

Belmont Partners will develop the “smart city,” which will include 80,000 residential units, 470 acres devoted to public schools, and 3,800 acres for offices, commercial buildings, and retail. About 3,400 acres will be left open land.

The “smart city” will be called Belmont, and when completed, it’ll be about the size of Tempe, Ariz. —40 square miles with a population of about 160,000.

“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,” Belmont Partners said in a press release.

Belmont Partners has not yet specified when construction will begin.

Source: “Bill Gates Just Put Millions Into Building a Smart City in the Desert,” Fortune (Nov. 13, 2017) and “Bill Gates Spends $80 Million to Create a ‘Smart City’ in Arizona,” MoneyWatch (Nov. 13, 2017)