Belmont, Arizona is a smart high-tech city funded by Bill Gates.
One of Microsoft founder Bill Gates' many investment companies has bought as much as 25,000 acres of land in Arizona. The land is located about 45 minutes outside Phoenix and will be transformed into a smart city called Belmont.
Focusing on high-speed networks, advanced manufacturing capabilities, self-driving vehicles and data centers, Belmont could become a hub where new technologies can thrive. A proposed I-11 highway would connect Belmont to Las Vegas, Nevada, offering significant opportunities. Las Vegas offers access to the world's best technology at conferences held throughout the year, such as the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show.
Currently, the plot is nothing more than a barren wasteland. Of the 25,000 acres available for use, 3,800 acres have been set aside for shops, offices and other commercial uses. An area of 470 hectares has been set aside for public schools, a goal well supported by the Gates Foundation.
The United States' first truly smart city will not be an easy task, despite the $80 million initially available for the project. For starters, water will be a big problem. The desert-like climate will make it difficult to supply water to the 80,000 inhabitants. No information is being released on the project's timetable as it is still in its infancy.
If the project really gets off the ground and is fully built, will it be able to attract residents?