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Technology: Bill Gates Just Put Millions Into Building a Smart City in the Desert

Bill Gates has plans to build a “smart city” outside of Phoenix, Arizona. The billionaire’s investment group, Cascade Investment, paid about $80 million for a stake in a 24,800 acre development 45 minutes outside Phoenix, called Belmont.

The desert land is currently almost entirely undeveloped. However, developers Belmont Partners plan to build 80,000 homes, 3,800 acres of industrial, office, and retail space, and 470 acres for public schools, leaving about 3,400 acres of open land.

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In a press release, Belmont Partners said they plan to “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.” Belmont will be located along the proposed freeway I-11, which would run from Reno to Mexico and connect the town to both Phoenix and Las Vegas.

The community “will transform a raw, blank slate into a purpose-built edge city built around a flexible infrastructure model,” according to Belmont Properties.

It remains unclear when Belmont would be built. Gates’ “smart city” would follow in the footsteps of a similar metropolis being built in Columbus, Ohio.