Bill Gates investing $80 million in Arizona smart city
New smart city will embrace “high-speed digital networks, data centers” and other technology-focused infrastructure
To the west of Phoenix, Ariz., an 25,000-acre plot of land could eventually be home to a greenfield smart city thanks to significant investment from billionaire Microsoft founder Bill Gates, according to report.
Gates-associated investment firm Belmont Partners, which has detailed preliminary plans to dedicate 3,800 acres to office, commercial and retail space, a 470-acre earmark for public schools and room for 80,000 residences. Dubbed Belmont, the community could potential be home to some 182,000 people.
In a statement, Belmont Partners described “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.”
The investment group said, “Belmont will transform a raw, blank slate into a purpose-built edge city built around a flexible infrastructure model.”
The area also sits on the proposed path of Interstate 11, which is planned to run from Nogales, Ariz., to Reno, Nev.
This is the just the latest in multi-billion dollar tech companies, or their founders in this case, looking to build smart cities from the ground up.
Sidewalk Labs, a subsidiary of Google-parent company Alphabet, is planning to build a smart city from the ground up in an area of Toronto southeast of downtown called Quayside. Sidewalk Labs is partnering with Waterfront Toronto, a group set up in 2001 by Ontario’s provincial government with the charge of revitalizing the city’s waterfront area into what Chief Development Officer Meg Davis called an area “that will be an exemplar to rest of the world to build cities that have the greatest impact on our future.” The largely undeveloped urban area comprises some 800 acres.