Friday, 17 November 2017

Bill Gates invests $80 million to build Arizona smart city

Bill Gates

A group associated with a Gates investment company has invested $80 million in a high-tech planned development outside Phoenix.

The community in Belmont will be designed around high-speed networks, autonomous vehicles, high-speed digital networks, data centers, new manufacturing technologies and autonomous logistics hubs.

It’s unclear how much former Microsoft CEO Gates, who owns Belmont’s parent company Cascade Investment, will be involved in the effort.

Belmont Partners, the Arizona-based real investment group that’s leading the project, said it will be similar in size to nearby Tempe, Arizona, which has a population of 182,000.

“Envisioning future infrastructure from scratch is far easier and more cost efficient than retrofitting an existing urban fabric,” Grady Gammage, a spokesman for the venture said in the statement.

Arizona has a reputation as being a technology-friendly state. Several major players in the autonomous vehicle industry — Waymo, Uber and Intel — are testing their innovations in the state.

The investment is the latest example of excitement surrounding rebuilding cities from the ground up with a digital mind-set.

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