Bill Gates is building a "smart city" in Arizona

One of the richest men in the world wants to build its own city and fulfill a tech dream for people to enjoy. Image Compfight

One of the richest men in the world wants to build its own city and fulfill a tech dream for people to enjoy. Image Compfight

The Belmont development, named after the company behind the project, will be on 25,000 acres of land in Tonopah, a small town located about 50 miles west of Arizona's capital, Phoenix.

The enormously successful founder of Microsoft has purchased approximately 24,800 acres of land in Arizona, approximately 45 minutes away from Phoenix, with the express objective of building a "smart city" that will be designed and built from the start with modern technological needs in mind.

The desert land is now nearly entirely undeveloped. There is also room for 80,000 residential units.

Roughly 3,800 acres will be devoted to office, commercial, and retail space, while 470 acres will be set aside for public schools.

Arizona, which neighbours California, home to tech hub Silicon Valley, has always been trying to become the go-to place for innovative technology companies.

A fresh start is very hard to achieve in building the cities of the future-unless, of course, you're Bill Gates.Once upon a time, when science fiction authors thought of the future, they imagined glistening towers of glass and steel, in perpetually attractive environments. Alphabet's autonomous auto company, Waymo announced plans to test a fleet of its driverless vehicles in Phoenix last week.

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For Mr. Gates-a man who, along with his wife Melinda Gates, has dedicated his life to improving the quality of life for people around the world through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-Belmont is yet another instance in which the Microsoft founder has seen an opportunity for advancing innovation in our world, and invested in it.

The proposed freeway I-11, which would connect the Belmont area to Las Vegas, makes the land an ideal spot for a new community, according to Ronald Schott, the executive emeritus at the Arizona Technology Council.

The city will have a "communication and infrastructure spine that embraces cutting-edge technology", says Belmont Partners, designed around high-speed digital networks, data centres, new manufacturing technologies and distribution models, driverless vehicles, and autonomous logistics hubs.

"Finally, Arizona's getting recognised for being a place for innovation".

Paul Babeu, former sheriff of Arizona's Pinal County, tweeted: "The Jetsons come to Arizona".

There's no word on when construction will start or even when they hope to have the city completed.

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