Bill Gates has bought $80 million (£61 million) worth of arid desert in Arizona to build a new 'smart city'.The planned community, known as Belmont, will be designed around cutting-edge technology, including self-driving cars and high-speed data networks.The city will be built on a 25,000-acre plot in a remote area in Tonopah, around 50 miles (80 km) west of Phoenix.One of Bill Gates' investment groups has bought 25,000 acres of land in a remote area in Arizona. Belmont Partners, the real estate developer behind the project, said the goal is to turn the area into a 'smart city'. The firm said the site will embrace cutting-edge technology and will be designed around high-speed digital networks. It will be built to accommodate self-driving cars. Plans call for as many as 80,000 homes and 3,800 acres of industrial, office and retail space. Few other details have been revealed about the new city, and it has not yet been announced when construction will begin.While few people currently live in the area, the plans call for as many as 80,000 homes and 3,800 acres of industrial, office and retail space.The site will include 3,400 acres of open space and 470 acres for public schools, according to Arizona-based Belmont Partners, the real estate developer behind the project.The firm, which forms part of a group controlled by Cascade Investment LLC – an investment firm run by Gates – said the goal is to turn the area into a 'smart city'.'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 centers, new manufacturing technologies and distribution models, autonomous vehicles and autonomous logistics hubs,' the company said in a press release, as reported by KPNX.'Comparable in square miles and projected population to Tempe, Arizona, Belmont will transform a raw, blank slate into a purpose-built edge city built around a flexible infrastructure model.'The proposed freeway I-11, which would connect Belmont to Las Vegas, makes the land an ideal spot for a new city, according to Ronald Schott, an expert at Arizona Technology Council.'Bill Gates is known for innovation and those kind of things and I think he picked the right place. He's coming to Arizona,' he told KPNX.The highway’s first phase of construction is expected to be completed within the next year.Few details have been revealed about the new city, and it has not yet been announced when construction will begin.
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