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Billionaire wants to build equitable utopia in the American desert

Somewhere in the American desert, former Walmart CEO and e-commerce billionaire Marke Lore wants to build a “utopia”. This is to be a fully sustainable, ethical, and equitable place to live. He recently shared his plans with the world on YouTube – this is what he has in mind.

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Billionaire To Build Sustainable and Equitable Utopia In American Desert

Not the first extremely wealthy person to propose building their own city to solve America’s biggest problems, and certainly not the last, Lore has released plans to build a “woke” “utopia” in the American desert. His proposal is a 150,000-acre futuristic city made of eco-friendly architecture, sustainable energy production, and drought-resistant water systems. (1)

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He has hired Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) to design the city and they have already released some digital renderings of what the city will look like. BIG has designed what they are calling a “15-minute city”. This means that they supposedly can access everything  – work, school, shopping, etc – within 15 minutes from their house.

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Telosa: The Utopia City Of The Future

Lore has named the theoretical city Telosa. It comes from the ancient Greek word telos, which means “higher purpose”. The digital images of the potential city are very futuristic-looking. There’s plenty of outdoor spaces and residential buildings covered in greenery. In the center of the city, there is a skyscraper called Equitism Tower. This building has elevated water storage, an energy-producing voltaic roof, and aeroponic farms. The idea is that this building will distribute and share all that it produces – energy, product, etc – to the citizens of the city. 

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“Cities that have been built to date from scratch are more like real estate projects,” Lore explained. “They don’t start with people at the center. Because if you started with people at the center, you would immediately think, ‘OK, what’s the mission and what are the values?’ The mission of Telosa is to create a more equitable and sustainable future. That’s our North Star.”

They will ban Fossil-fuel-powered cars in the city. All residents will be allowed to participate in the decision-making and budgeting process for the city. It is meant to be a place that does not have the inequalities that America currently suffers from.

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A City For The People

Lore described his proposed plans as “the most open, most fair, and most inclusive city in the world”. The goal is to combine all the best parts of cities around the world to make one that doesn’t have the same income and other disparities that currently exist in American cities – and around the world. Bjarke Ingles, the head architect and founder of BIG, says that it is the coming together of various cultures to create one that is fair, equitable, and free.

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“[Telosa] embodies the social and environmental care of Scandinavian culture, and the freedom and opportunity of a more American culture.” he said. 

The architects designed the city to house around 5,000 people. They have set up the streets with bikes and pedestrians as first priority, then slow-moving autonomous vehicles second. Lore’s hope is that Telosa will set a precedent for how we build future cities – and change the ones that currently exist.

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“We have a chance to prove a new model for society that offers people a higher quality of life and greater opportunity,” he said in a statement. “When I look out 30 years from now, I imagine Equitism serving as a blueprint for other cities — and even the world — and Telosa being a place of pride for all who live there.” (2)

The Planning

Currently, the city is only in the design phase. The team is still searching for the right location to build it. According to the city’s official website, locations they are considering are (3):

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  • Nevada
  • Utah
  • Idaho
  • Arizona
  • Texas
  • The Appalachian region

The first phase of construction will begin with just 1,500 acres and include 50,000 residents. The goal is for this phase to be move-in ready by 2030. The projected cost is $25 billion. The rest of the project is set to take place over a span of roughly 40 years and will require $400 billion in funding. (4)

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Currently is it not clear where this funding will come from and the project is, of course, a lofty one. Associate professor of geography at McGill University in Montreal, Canada Sarah Moser says that while it’s a lovely plan, its chances of success aren’t very high. She studies planned cities and has identified at least 150 “green” city projects backed by governments or private groups. None of these have hit their population targets or reached their goals. Moser calls these projects “unicorn planning”. With Telosa, we will just have to wait and see. (5)

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Keep Reading: Self-Sustaining 54-storey Tower Planned In The Middle Of The Wilderness

Sources

  1. Plans for $400-billion new city in the American desert unveiled.” CNN. Oscar Holland. September 6, 2021.
  2. Former Walmart president reveals plan for $400-billion Utopian city in the US desert.” USA Today. Scott Gleeson. September 8, 2021.
  3. City of Telosa
  4. Billionaire entrepreneur Marc Lore wants to build nation’s first woke city.” Fox Business. Will Feuer. september 7, 2021.
  5. Former Walmart president reveals plan for $400-billion Utopian city in the US desert.” USA Today. Scott Gleeson. September 8, 2021.
Julie Hambleton
Freelance Writer
Julie Hambleton has a BSc in Food and Nutrition from the Western University, Canada, is a former certified personal trainer and a competitive runner. Julie loves food, culture, and health, and enjoys sharing her knowledge to help others make positive changes and live healthier lives.
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