ARIZONA, USA — A former Walmart executive wants to start a city from scratch and turn it into a modern utopia.
The city will be called "Telosa," and billionaire Marc Lore hopes it will take the best parts of some of the world's most renowned cities.
"As vibrant and diverse as a New York City. Combined with the efficiency, safety, and cleanliness of a city like Tokyo. Combined with the social services, sustainability and governess model of a city like Stockholm," Lore said.
Telosa's website gives more insight into the city's future aspirations.
According to the website, the city hopes to grow to 150,000 acres with five million people. The website said they plan on trying to make everything a 15-minute commute, make the city sustainable, with modern enhancements. They hope to have the first part of the city done by 2030.
"In the best-case scenario, we can create a higher quality life for millions of people," Lore said.
However, is it possible to build this utopia in a desert of all places?
“The technology to do what he wants to do is here or it’s coming,” explained Ron Schott, who works with the Arizona Tech Council.
Schott said the challenges with a city are not the technical aspects. Schott said even some advancements in water preservation could make a city of that size sustainable. It is a question of getting the buy-in of both money and people.
As rich as Lore is, he cannot finance the building of an entire city by himself.
He still would need to acquire things like water rights and funding to build new buildings. Also, people and businesses need to be willing to move to the new city.
“He won't be the first person to try and build a utopia,” Schott said.
Lore isn't the first billionaire to look at Arizona to buy land with the idea of building a city from scratch. Four years ago, Bill Gates bought nearly 25,000 acres near Tonopah for $80 million. Gates stated his intention is to eventually build a smart city.
Schott does not believe the foundation of a new city, which could be coming to one of several states including Arizona, will be built in less than a decade.
However, he believes it is an effort worth trying. Schott said developments in modernizing a city from scratch may be able to be implemented elsewhere like Phoenix.
“If you don’t have big ideas and you don’t try them. How can you advance?” Schott said.
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