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Bill Gates Is Planning A Futuristic City In The Arizona Desert

According to Business Real Estate Weekly of Arizona, the land “is entitled for almost 80,000 residential units and more than 3,800 acres of industrial, office, and commercial uses.” The real estate firm–called Belmont Partners–says the new city ...

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New workplaces, new food sources, new medicine--even an entirely new economic system.Platform WarsThe major tech ecosystems that battle for our attention and dollars.Tech ForecastWhat’s next for hardware, software, and services.Robot RevolutionThe brave new world of automation, from AI to drones.Fast CitiesHow our urban centers are building toward the future.Most Creative PeopleSee members of our Most Creative People in Business community: leaders who are shaping the future of business in creative ways.FastCo.Works StudioAn award-winning team of journalists, designers, and videographers who tell brand stories through Fast Company's distinctive lens.NewslettersInnovation FestivalCurrent IssueCurrent IssueSUBSCRIBEFollow us:advertisementadvertisement11.14.17Bill Gates Is Planning A Futuristic City In The Arizona DesertThe city will reportedly brim with “autonomous vehicles and autonomous logistic hubs.” [Photo: Tobias Schwarz/AFP/Getty Images] By Jesus Diaz2 minute ReadAn investment company controlled by Bill Gates has bought 24,800 acres in the middle of the Arizona desertAccording to AZ Central, the multi-billionaire software tycoon and sexy futurist also bought a controlling stake in a project to build a technologically advanced metropolis on the siteSadly this development won’t be named Billyburg, but Belmont.advertisementAccording to Business Real Estate Weekly of Arizona, the land “is entitled for almost 80,000 residential units and more than 3,800 acres of industrial, office, and commercial uses.” The real estate firm–called Belmont Partners–says the new city will be a “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.” Aside that marketdroid blurb, there are no details on who is designing the project or how this city will be any different from other cities around the worldIt may as well describe flying cars, a spaceport, and a maid robot called Rosie.Building cities from scratch is nothing new, but history shows us that it’s easy to dream of a perfect Tomorrowland and end up with a Brasilia or, worse, a ghost town. However, Google also believes that building futuristic cities up from nothing is possible, although its newly-announced $1 billion, 800-acre waterfront development is attached to the city of TorontoChina is trying it with a high-tech metropolis that will reportedly dwarf New York CityMiddle-Eastern firms, already familiar with building cities out of thin air, are investing in another advanced city in Malaysia.Talking to Arizona TV channel 12 News, Arizona Technology Council’s executive emeritus Ronald Schott is sitting firmly in Camp Kool-AidHe mentions that it’s about time that “someone recognizes Arizona for the technological hub that it is,” and points out that the location of this promised land is ideal: The Interstate 11 will run nearby on its way from Reno, Nevada, to Nogales, Arizona, connecting Belmont with those cities, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.In fact, not far from Belmont’s future location is an actual city of the futureIt’s called Arcosanti–an experimental town built by Italian-American architect Paolo Soleri in the 1970s around his principles of “arcology,” a portmanteau of architecture and ecologyIn theory, Arcosanti was a demonstration that, in order for humanity to survive and flourish, we should embrace our environment in our city developmentsHopefully Belmont will take a note or two from Arcosanti and not from another city built on sand in the middle of nowhere–Las Vegas.About the authorJesus Diaz founded the new Sploid for Gawker Media after seven years working at Gizmodo, where he helmed the lost-in-a-bar iPhone 4 storyHe's a creative director, screenwriter, and producer at The Magic Sauce and a contributing writer at Fast CompanyMoreCo.Design Daily NewsletterSign UpReceive special Fast Company offers.See All NewslettersadvertisementRelated StoriesProducts3 Startups Designing Pollution Masks For The Coming EcopocalypseProductsAn Iridescent Optical Illusion Brings This Furniture To LifeProducts“Cards Against Humanity” Is Buying Up Land To Stop Donald Trump’s Border WalladvertisementVideoIdeasIdeasWhat Do DrOz, Bobbi Brown, And Vicente Fox Have In Common? 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