Bill Gates invests $80 million into ‘smart city’ of the future

Former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates has invested a sufficient amount of money into 'Belmont', a proposed futuristic community, with high-speed communications and autonomous cars

Former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates (Photo: the Toronto Star)
Former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates (Photo: the Toronto Star)

One of Bill Gates' firms have invested $80 million into almost 25,000 acres of land, west of Phoenix in Arizona to build a 'smart city'.

The proposed community, called ‘Belmont’, will have high-speed communications infrastructure, autonomous cars and data centres.

"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.

Since the early 90s, the land has been eyed for development purposes, according to AZ Central.

In the proposed plan, 3,800 acres will be zoned for commercial and office space, and another 470 acres will assigned to public schooling, with projected housing for 80,000.

That would make Belmont the area and population of Tempe, which is 182,000 people, according to the Belmont Partners’ press release.

"Envisioning future infrastructure from scratch is far easier and more cost efficient than retrofitting an existing urban fabric," Grady Gammage, a spokesman for the venture said in the statement.

This October, Sidewalk Labs, the urban innovation arm of Google's parent company Alphabet, committed to $50 million for the initial phase of planning and pilot testing a Toronto neighbourhood development.

It's designed as a model neighbourhood for the 21st century, with reduced pollution, shortened commutes, safer streets and better weather. Transportation will be designed around shared electric vehicles, walking and biking. More flexible zoning will blend commercial, industrial and residential areas.

Only a week later after the Toronto announcement, Saudi Arabia announced plans to invest $500 billion in a new global hub, designed to push the boundaries of innovation and exemplify the future of civilization.

It will be situated along the projected path of the not yet constructed I-11, which runs all the way from Las Vegas to Mexico.

"This is a very long term, very patient investment," Gammage said.