Microsoft co-founder, Bill Gates, one of the richest people in the world, has allotted $80 million for a “smart city” he plans to build in a 24,800-acre land area that he recently bought in southwestern Arizona, recent reports indicate. Cascade Investment LLC, Gates’ investment company, will provide the funding for the highly urbanized community that consists of offices, schools, households and storefronts called Belmont, which will be built together with Belmont Partners.
According to a new report from Business Insider, approximately 3,800 acres out of the total lot area will be reserved for the construction of offices, commercial spaces, and retail stores. Additionally, Belmont Partners will dedicate 470 acres to public schools which will be built in the smart city as well. Also, the new community is supposed to be capable of accommodating some 80,000 residences, according to the report, though it is not yet known how much space will be consumed by those households. In addition to those developmental projects, the report also says that the smart city will provide the necessary components of such a community, which include fast internet connection, self-driving vehicle services and smart technology for manufacturing. It remains unclear when will Belmont Partners start to develop the smart community, and whether it will team up with several other partners to realize the plan, though that is likely the case considering the huge amount that Gates is putting into the project. More details about this plan are likely to follow in the coming months.
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The construction of the smart city in Arizona is just one of the many efforts across the American continent to build such a highly advanced community. Earlier this year, Alphabet’s smart city unit Sidewalk Labs applied to secure a building permit in Toronto, Canada, as the company plans to build structures in a 12-acre lot area in the city’s downtown, probably the connected city that it has long been wanting to develop. Then in September of this year, NVIDIA teamed up with Huawei and Alibaba for its plan to build a Metropolis AI smart city platform, though it was not immediately clear what roles the two companies will play in the development and deployment of Metropolis AI.