An icon in the technology industry, Bill Gates is setting his sights on building one of the first "Smart Cities" in the world. Located 45 minutes outside of Phoenix, Arizona, 25,000 thousand acres of land has been purchased by a firm that holds the majority of Gates current wealth, Cascade Investments, to build a technologically enhanced town, which is expected to house upwards of 160,000 people.
It sounds intriguing. But what exactly is a smart city?
In a recent press release, the group planned to build 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."
A life-long innovator and visionary, Gates has been both developing and predicting the future for most of his career. Although at one time he was the wealthiest man in the world, Gates has never seemed obsessed with amassing wealth. Instead, Gates wealth appears as a byproduct of his insight and creativity.
At this point in his career, Gates seems primarily interested in helping humanity. Precisely because of this tendency, the development of the proposed "Smart City" will be wondrous to watch.
The city, named Belmont, will also include an 80,000 residential units, 3,800 acres of commercial and retail space, as well as 470 acres for public schools.
At this point, it's unknown who will inhabit this city. Either way, this project will be a template for other "Smart Cities" around the globe and will undoubtedly be an exciting new phase of Gates career.