The idea of the screw dates back to around 200 B.C., and thousands of years later it is still used in everything from building homes to the electronic device you’re using right now. However, there are many other things that contribute to the building of a community, and in a recent case, Bill Gates is one of the main contributors.
According to Salon.com, the richest man in the world has announced that he intends to build his own city. Bill Gates announced in a press release that he is purchasing 40 square miles with an investment of $80 million. This space sits 45 minutes west of Phoenix, Arizona, which will be the new home of Gates-town.
Gates and his investors plan to build 80,000 residential units and thousands of acres of industrial and commercial buildings as part of a “smart city.” The rules and laws of the community would be created by Gates and the investors, without any input from the people that will actually reside there.
This new city will be called “Belmont,” after the name of the main investors. Along with the homes and commercial and industrial buildings, Belmont will utilize 470 acres for public schools. Grady Gammage, Jr., a founding partner of Arizona-based law firm Gammage and Burnham, PLC, and a representative for this project, spoke about Belmont in a press release.
“Belmont is an incredible opportunity for the state of Arizona,” Gammage said. “Envisioning future infrastructure from scratch is far easier and more cost efficient than retrofitting an existing urban fabric. Belmont presents such an opportunity. We know of virtually no other property in the United States so strategically positioned, already entitled, and yet presenting a nearly blank slate of opportunity.”
This isn’t the first time that a billionaire has tried to create their own version of utopia. One that may be of similar feel is the Walt Disney Company’s space. Larry Yount, manager of Belmont Partners, spoke out about this project.
“The Belmont development exemplifies the big picture thinking that has been a unique hallmark of Arizona’s history of economic development. Belmont illustrates that Arizona remains at the leading edge of trends in American urban planning and development keying off of advances in solar power and electric distribution systems, autonomous auto testing, broadband, and data centers,” Yount said.
Gates was once the richest man in the world, but in recent years the Microsoft owner has become better known for his philanthropic work with his wife. Belmont is just the latest Gates project that seeks to change the modern world for the better.
Whether people will actually move to the new city remains to be seen.