From Belmont to Toronto: tech giants invest in smart cities


It will have high-speed digital networks, driverless cars and fully automated logistics hubs: we are talking about Belmont, the new high-tech city near Phoenix whose construction is being financed also by Bill Gates. The Microsoft founder has already invested 80 million dollars in the project: for the time being, the investment is designed to buy 10,000 hectares of desert and rough land where the city will be built. The State of Arizona has been chosen not by chance, for it is becoming the new hub of global innovation. The objective of Gates and of the investment team that has believed in the Belmont project is "to create a city that is comparable in square miles and projected population to the nearby Tempe (182,000 inhabitants), connected via the Interstate 11 freeway to the nearby Las Vegas and Reno".  The details that have been made public so far include the distribution of spaces: 190 hectares for educational institutions, 1,500 for offices and commercial buildings and about 80,000 residential units. "Belmont will create a forward-thinking community with a communication and infrastructure spine that embraces cutting-edge technology", say Belmont Partners, the real estate firm involved in the purchase.

Belmont, which will develop via photovoltaic systems and smart electricity distribution networks, is neither the first nor the last smart city to proliferate in the United States supported by major technology companies: Google, for example, with its Sidewalk project, will turn the Eastern Waterfront of Toronto into a city of innovation, from self-driving to data management that will help the entire organisation and improve quality of life.