Building the Smartest City in America


It’s pretty common to hear of a successful retiree buying some land in Arizona to build a new home and enjoy the fruits of professional success. But when that retiree is billionaire philanthropist and technology Rockstar Bill Gates – the move takes on a very different meaning.

Earlier this month, a group headed by Gates’ investment group Cascade Investment, purchased just under 25,000 acres of land outside of Phoenix. So, it’s safe to say that he’s looking for more than just a pool and some tennis courts. Rather, Gates’ vision for the land is to develop his own smart city. It would feature a number of his favorite technologies and provide widespread access to high-speed digital networks and data centers.

Gates has also been a long-time fan of 3D printing and has spoken favorably of autonomous vehicles, although he believes it will be more than a decade before they’re commercially viable. This city would allow Gates to essentially provide a living laboratory for enhancing these technologies in applications ranging from manufacturing to everyday life.

Although the area is lightly populated right now, the development company leading the project could see as many as 80,000 new homes being constructed for what could become the smartest city in America. Approximately 3,800 acres will reportedly be set aside for retail, office, and industrial space, and 470 acres for public schools – an area in which the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has taken a strong interest.

There’s currently no timeline in place for development to begin.

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