Shenzhen, China was a sleepy fishing village in 1979.
A mere forty years later, it is one of the busiest shipping ports in the world—with a sprawling populous of 17.56 million—making it the 5th largest city in China.
Could the same thing happen here in the U.S., in 1/4 the time?
Billionaire Marc Lore thinks so.
Lore hopes to make his dream state-of-the-art city Telosa a reality.
Telosa—not named after Elon Musk’s Tesla (or co-founded by him)—but rather after the ancient Greek word “telos” (A term made popular by the philosopher Aristotle to denote an inherent or higher purpose) is an ambitious future city to be built from the ground up in the desert.
Lore and his planners are scouting for the perfect location of their new “city on a hill”, and according to the official website, are looking at Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Arizona, Texas, and the Appalachian region to break ground. The only thing holding them back: funding.
The projected cost is around $400 billion—not exactly pocket change for the likes of Bezos or the aforementioned Musk. However, building a sprawling metropolis of 150,000 acres and 5 million people with eco-friendly architecture, sustainable energy, and a drought-resistant water system doesn’t come cheap.
Luckily, Lore won’t have to fit the bill himself. Capital for the project is likely to come from multiple sources including private organizers, philanthropists, federal and state grants, and economic development subsidies.
The goal is to welcome the first residents to the city by 2030; with 50,000 residents over 1,500 acres at a relatively “modest” cost of $25 billion. The city hopes to have 5 million people within 40 years, with the total cost exceeding $400 billion.
The “City of the Future” hopes to live up to its name with gasoline vehicles banned, buildings covered in greenery, and autonomous vehicles traveling down roads alongside scooters and pedestrians.
During a promotional video describing the project, Lore offered an alternative to capitalism’s traditional drawbacks: “Cities that have been built to date from scratch are more like real estate projects…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?’ Lore then summed up his altruistic vision stating: “The mission of Telosa is to create a more equitable and sustainable future. That’s our North Star.”
If successful, I know where my residency will be in 2030.