Imagine a utopian megacity that encapsulates the spirit of sustainability and hyper-capitalism right in the middle of the United States. It might sound like a Philip K. Dick story, but one tech billionaire is seeking out to make his utopian vision a reality.
Marc Lore, an e-commerce entrepreneur and billionaire, who has served as President and CEO of Walmart’s online shopping division in the past, is starting a brand new project to realize this dream of his.
Full of the kind of visions that run rampant in Silicon Valley, Lore has decided to start creating a metropolis that aims to be more inclusive, accessible, sustainable, and more livable than our current cities.
He has decided to call the proposed city “Telosa,” which is a reference to Aristotle’s term “Telos,” meaning something like “fulfillment” or “higher purpose.” The project has released several digital concept designs that were created by Bjarke Ingels Group, a Danish architecture firm that aims to design the metropolis.
According to the project’s. website, Telosa’s location has not yet been determined. However, some locations that are being considered include Utah, Idaho, Arizona, Texas, Nevada, or the Appalachian Region.
The project is aiming for the city to be up to 150,000 acres in size and will be able to be home to about 5 million people by the year 2060. That would make it equal in population density to cities like San Francisco, which is at about 33 people per acre.
Lore said in a promotional video: “What we’re trying to do is combine the best of different cities in the world and bring it together. Think about Telosa being as vibrant and diverse as New York City, combined with efficiency, safety, and cleanliness of city like Tokyo, combined with the social services and sustainability of a city like Stockholm.”
One of Telosa’s most important goals is sustainability. Lore cites climate change as one of the driving forces, and hopes that the city will be powered through a renewable energy system and will use fresh water that is stored, cleaned, and re-used on site in the city. The urban environment include plans for lots of green space for inhabitants.
Another theme of Telosa is “equitism,” which aims to have each citizen have a stake in the land, and so that would mean the city is owned by the community. Lore explains: “What if you could pay the same taxes you pay today, but get the best social services of any country in the world? That’s equitism.” It is currently unclear how exactly that plan would work.
The start goal of being habitable by its first citizens is currently projected to be by 2030, however, there is a lot of work that needs to be done first. Lore will fund a majority of the project, but billions of dollars worth of funding still need to be raised. Lore hopes to gather the funds through philanthropists, private investors, federal and state grants, and subsidies.
While there are plenty of incredible looking design concepts and promotional videos, bring an ambitious project like this to life in another matter. There are plenty of visionary tech designs that have yet to come to fruition and many that remain a pipe dream, but perhaps Lore will be able to pull this one off. Only time will tell.