Gates wants smart too
Clearly not to be outdone by Alphabet (Google), which is building a smart city in Toronto, Bill Gates has stumped up $80 million to develop a smart metro in Arizona’s West Valley, about 45 minutes out of downtown Phoenix. The urban project, tagged Belmont, will be operated by Gates’ investment firm Belmont Partners.
Some 3,800 acres will be devoted to office, commercial and retail space, with 470 acres slated for public schools, and much of the rest be used for up to 80,000 residential units.
"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 centres, new manufacturing technologies and distribution models, autonomous vehicles and autonomous logistics hubs," the company explains.
Alphabet-owned smart-city unit Sidewalk Labs was last month selected by Toronto to create a large-scale, high-tech location in the city. Dan Doctoroff, Sidewalk CEO, wrote a piece in last week’s Toronto Star, that the development won’t be “a homogenous, planned community– but rather a place, like all great cities, that generations of residents, innovators, and city-builders create organically over time, enabled by the physical and digital foundation we establish.”
He added that tech is not the be-all and end-all. “Sidewalk Toronto is about improving people’s lives, not developing technology for technology’s sake,” he said.
Image: Sidewalk Labs