As interest in smart cities grows globally Bill Gates is planning a smart city in Arizona and India is pushing ahead with its own plans for 100 smart cities
An investment firm controlled by the Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has bought nearly 25,000 acres of land 45 miles west of Phoenix, Arizona, USA with the aim of building a smart city. The announcement follows Google's parent company Alphabet’s announcement of its plans to build a new smart district on Toronto’s eastern waterfront.
The proposed community, known as Belmont, would serve as a "template" for development of sustainable cities capitalizing on cutting-edge infrastructure, the investment firm Belmont Partners said. The community would be built from the ground up with the idea of integrating technology into its residents' lives.
"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 centers, new manufacturing technologies and distribution models, autonomous vehicles and autonomous logistics hubs," the firm said in a statement Wednesday.
According cnet.com the investment comes amid growing interest in smart cities, communities that use technology to keep streets clean by alerting the sanitation department when public garbage bins are full, for example. Communities that allow residents to unlock their office door and turn on their computer before even arriving at work. Places where residents can use their phones to reserve and get directions to a parking space.
Belmont Partners has spent $80 million on the plot of land for the proposed community, which would be comparable in size and population to nearby Tempe -- 40 square miles and about 160,000 people, the firm said in a statement.
Belmont will be composed of 80,000 residential units, with more than 3,800 acres for office, commercial and retail space, 3,400 acres of open space and 470 acres for public schools, the firm said.
Meanwhile, India currently has plans for 100 smart city developments driven by its quickly growing population and rapid adoption of new technologies like artificial intelligence.
India’s initiative started in 2014, with the goal of building 100 high-tech cities from the ground up, which could serve as a blueprint for India’s future infrastructure. That plan shifted over the next year, eventually evolving to improving infrastructure in existing cities, according to the Hindustan Times.