According to NBC 12 News, “One of Bill Gates’ investment firms has spent $80 million to kickstart the development of a brand-new community in the far West Valley…The proposed community, made up of close to 25,000 acres of land, is called Belmont. According to Belmont Partners, a real estate investment group based in Arizona, the goal is to turn the land into its own Smart City”.
The land is 45 minutes west of downtown Phoenix, in a region called the West Valley. The proposed community will be roughly the size of Tempe, Arizona – 40 square miles and about 160,000 people. The site also lies on the route of a proposed highway (I-11) which would connect Gate’s Smart City to Phoenix. In a press release, Belmont Partners is planning 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.”
Not much else is known at this time but it should be interesting to watch it develop and hope this project doesn’t run into the same issues that Indian Smart Cities are experiencing.
But What IS a Smart City?
According to the National League of Cities, a “smart city” is, “one that has developed technological infrastructure that enables it to collect, aggregate, and analyze real-time data to improve the lives of its residents.” This would mean that many internet connected devices are installed and monitored around the city and adjust things like traffic flow, parking, water and wastewater monitoring, bridge inspection systems, self-driving cars, lighting, fire detection, energy monitoring, and the list goes on. With these technologies becoming cheaper and more mainstream I don’t think it will be long before we start to see these new technologies in our cities.