Ronald Schott, an executive at Arizona Technology Council, has touted Gates’ location decision for the city due to its proximity to the proposed I-11 freeway and Las Vegas. The location is also said to be “in the desert,” which gives Belmont Partners the ability to build the city on a clean slate instead of needing to tear down existing infrastructure.
Though the process of building a smart, connected city rarely happens in this manner. Generally, cities that have been developed over decades will slowly make decisions to become more technologically-advanced or resilient, causing a need to re-build parts of the city or re-design the landscape. Building from the ground-up is a more expensive and risky approach — one that sometimes looks more appealing in renderings than in actuality. In Ashburn, VA, the 16.8-acre Gramercy District is being built from scratch with the intention of being the region’s first holistically “smart city” where people will want to “live, work and play,” yet there has been little reported interest in area residents actually moving there.