Former Microsoft CEO and company founder Bill Gate is using is huge wealth to create his vision of the future. Gates has consistently been the richest man in the world over the last two decades. However, he has been surpassed by Amazon chief Jeff Bezos this year. Still, with $90 billion in the bank, Gates has enough cash to pay for his “smart city” idea.
One of the things about being a billionaire is that you could theoretically build a part of society in your own image. Walt Disney created parks in which his characters could come to life, and Dr. Evil used his money to try to take over the world. Alphabet CEO Larry Page has long been rumoured to want to buy an island to create a technology haven away from regulation.
The funny thing about all those things, is they are enticing and scary in equal measure. Some people have so much money that the could make the world better or worse. I'll let you decide were Disney fits into that mix.
Located in Arizona, Gates is creating a smart town that represents his vision of the future. To ensure his plan is off to a good start, Bill Gates has snapped up 25,000 acres of land in the state.
The futuristic city will be called Belmont and will accommodate 80,000 residential units:
“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,” Belmont Partners said in a news release.
Aside from substantial housing, 3,800 acres will be allocated to office, retail, and commercial spaces. An additional 470 acres will be for public schools. Belmont (and the existing land) is located 45 minutes west of downtown Phoenix.
“Comparable in square miles and projected population to Tempe, Arizona, Belmont will transform a raw, blank slate into a purpose-built edge city built around a flexible infrastructure model,” said Belmont Properties.
Interestingly, the land did not cost that much to purchase. Yes, $80 million may seem a lot, but to buy 25,000 acres of land that can support a new city development is a relative snip. In other words, Bill Gates did not have to dip into his pockets too much.
Of course, developing Belmont beyond a slither of empty Arizona land will cost much more. Oh yes, it is worth mentioning all buildings in the city will have (W)windows.