From smartphones to smart homes, consumers are becoming accustomed to technology in ways that we never thought possible. In an effort to push these boundaries even further, Bill Gates has recently made a significant investment into establishing an entire smart city – and he's chosen the state of Arizona to host it.
Gaining Support From High Places
Although the new development isn't the brainchild of Bill Gates, a major group associated with a Bill Gates-operated investment firm has recently pledged $80 million to the community. The company, known as Belmont Partners, is hoping for a city of just under 200,000 – which equates to roughly the size of nearby Tempe. They also serve as the inspiration for the name of the new city: Belmont.
Grady Gammage, an official spokesperson for Belmont Partners, spoke enthusiastically about the endeavor. He was quoted as saying: "Envisioning future infrastructure from scratch is far easier and more cost efficient than retrofitting an existing urban fabric." He continued by stating, rather bluntly: "This is a very long term, very patient investment."
The future site of Belmont currently sits on nearly 25,000 acres of land almost an hour west of downtown Phoenix. It's far enough away from the hustle and bustle of the big city to give it a real shot at succeeded, while still close enough to draw interested tourists from the surrounding communities and even across the globe.
Dividing the Territory'
An official press release touted the innovative nature of the project by saying, in part: "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."
Early reports allocate the majority of the space for residential units – approximately 80,000 of them. Additionally, 3,800 acres are reserved for office, commercial and retail space while 470 acres are earmarked solely for public schools. From this point-of-view, Belmont looks more like the average American city than anything else. But when construction is complete and the necessary infrastructure installed, Belmont is set to become a leader in technological innovation within the U.S.
For one, it's hard to imagine the amount of data storage and bandwidth require to maintain connectivity throughout a smart city. Although we do see cities that offer high-speed Internet and provide efficient data storage, nothing approaches the scale needed to support an entire smart city.
Regardless of the challenges, they're not alone in the race to establish a next-generation smart city. Plans have already been announced for communities in Denver within the U.S. and even as far away as China. It's a trend that's gaining a lot of interest around the world, and the curiosity will only increase as these plans enter into reality.
'''Breaking Ground on the Nation's First Smart City'''
The state of Arizona is known for embracing cutting-edge technology. From self-driving cars on their city streets to the first smart city in the entire nation, they're giving other areas – like Silicon Valley – a run for their money in terms of innovation, technology and desirability. Although there currently isn't a timeline for construction to begin on the smart city of Belmont, and there's been little news since late 2017, the team hopes to break ground as soon as possible.
Data Storage and the Next-Gen Smart City
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