Telosa – America’s $400 Billion Future City,2023

Imagine a sprawling metropolis in the middle of  the American desert west complete with futuristic infrastructure and carefully planned roads and  streets filled with autonomous electric vehicles. A city that combines the sprawl and diversity  of New York, the efficiency and connectivity of Tokyo, and the governance and sustainability  of Stockholm. An insane multi-billion dollar plan to create a futuristic city similar in scale  and ambition to Saudi Arabia’s The Line. Today, we’ll be taking a look at the future city of  Telosa: America’s Version of the Line. The city of Telosa is a planned development that  promises to not just be the city of the future, but also to be a completely new model for society.

The city of Telosa is a planned development that 
promises to not just be the city of the future,

Similar in vein to megaprojects like Saudi’s Neom, these planned megacities are a response to  the emerging problems of today’s world which includes overpopulation, pollution, and climate  change. These future cities aim to redefine what it means to create a thriving city from  scratch that is designed to be sustainable, resilient, inclusive, and equitable for all of  its residents. The name “Telosa” comes from the ancient Greek word telos which can roughly  be translated to “the greatest purpose”. First unveiled to the public in September  2001, Telosa is the brainchild of American billionaire Marc Lore. Shortly after stepping  down as president and CEO of American retail powerhouse Walmart, Lore announced his ambitious  goal to create the planned city of Telosa. Through this visionary project, he aims to “create a more  equitable and sustainable future that can become a blueprint of future generations”. In charge  behind the master planning of Telosa will be world-renowned Danish architect Bjarke Ingels  who has previously been commissioned by Toyota to create a smaller smart future city in Japan. The core concept behind Telosa and the reason as to why it is being planned in the first  place, according to Lore, is to create a city with the needs of the people serving as  its foundation. As it stands, more than 50% of the world’s population currently lives in cities.  This figure is expected to increase to as much as 70% by the year 2050. Because of this, cities have  become important centers for education, research, and economic opportunities for millions of  people. And although cities have brought much growth to a few handful of individuals, not  everyone directly benefits from this development. This increasing wealth gap is precisely what  Lore and Telosa are trying to solve. The goal is to build a city wherein everyone will have  equal opportunities for growth no matter their socioeconomic or cultural background. To achieve this vision of equality, at the heart of the plan is an economic system  known as equitism. The idea behind this system is to create a community wherein the people  will directly benefit from the growth of the city. In this system, Telosa will own all of  the city’s land while its citizens are given the freedom to build and sell homes on top  of this land. Ideally, as the city grows, land values will also grow alongside it. These  generated funds will then be invested back into the city through public services, transportation,  education, and healthcare. Thus fulfilling the vision of equity wherein all citizens have  equal access to high-quality services. Although the final location for the city of  Telosa has not been decided, the people behind it are planning to build the city on desert land in  the American West in the states of Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Arizona, or Texas. Another consideration  is for the city to be built somewhere around the Appalachian Region over in the east. But out of all the available land in the United States, why are they planning to  build Telosa in the middle of the desert? One of the main reasons for this decision  is that there is plenty of cheap and readily available undeveloped land in the American  West.

One of the main reasons for this decision 
is that there is plenty of cheap and readily

And with Telosa’s plan of reimbursing increasing land values back into city services,  this cheap land has the potential to pay for itself as the city grows over time. Although the land for Telosa’s eventual construction may come at a relatively cheap  price, building a bustling metropolis in the middle of the desert isn’t exactly the most  ideal or smartest undertaking. Saudi Arabia’s recent construction on Neom and The Line have  clearly showcased these problems that Telosa might encounter as well in the future. Initially  planned to be partially completed by 2020 and expanded upon in 2025, Neom’s construction  is already behind schedule. It turns out that building on undeveloped desert land first requires  the construction of operating facilities to house construction equipment and personnel in the  unforgiving climate. Some other problems that Neom and The Line are currently facing right  now are high temperatures, water availability, and the energy impact of constructing an entire  city from scratch in a harsh environment. Telosa is also planned to be fully powered through  renewable sources of energy. Each building in the city will have photovoltaic cells installed on  their roofs, while strategically placed wind turbines across the city’s borders will provide  additional capacity to power Telosa. The city is planned to generate more power than what it  consumes, making it a self-sustaining city when it comes to electricity generation. Additionally,  at the heart of Telosa will be the Equitism Tower, the city’s tallest structure that will serve  as an iconic landmark and a beacon for the city. The tower will house an observation deck, an  elevated water storage system and aeroponic farms that will supply the city with fresh produce. Another consideration of Telosa’s layout is an urban design and transportation system that  makes it possible for residents to always be within only a 15-minute commute of key locations  and services such as offices, schools, parks, shops, and restaurants. Unlike The Line which  will be completely pedestrian-centric with a focus on mass transit, Telosa will use a mix of  carefully planned transit systems and autonomous electric vehicles. The city will make use of the  “superblock” concept of urban planning wherein heavier traffic is concentrated over on the  borders of the block while bikes and slow-moving EVs will be given priority on inner streets. This  achieves two goals: one, ensuring that people can easily move around between blocks; and second,  so that residential areas will be far enough away from major streets to avoid excessive noise. The construction of Telosa will be divided into two phases. The first phase is ambitiously set  to be completed by the year 2030. By this point in the development, the city would be capable  of housing as many as 50,000 residents over an area of 6 square kilometers which is roughly  twice the size of New York’s Central park. Once completed, the second phase of the  development aims to fully build the rest of the city over the course of the next forty  years.

Once completed, the second phase of the 
development aims to fully build the rest

Over 5 million people are expected to live within the city by this point with a total area  of more than 120 square kilometers. By comparison, the city of Telosa will be as big as the city  of San Francisco but with more than six times its population living in the same area. In total, the entire project is estimated to cost as much as $400 billion USD to complete  with funding primarily coming from potential private investors and federal and state grants. In  comparison, Saudi Arabia’s The Line is estimated to cost a similar $500 billion USD which unlike  Telosa, is completely funded by Saudi’s sovereign wealth fund, and by extension, the Saudi  government. With Telosa’s highly ambitious plan and vision for the future, Marc Lore and his  team have to overcome one of the biggest hurdles with the construction of planned cities like  these—funding. It’s not exactly easy to convince the government and private investors to lend  you billions of dollars into creating a vision that may not be fully realized. And even though  Telosa promises to be different by saying that its people will be at the center of the city’s  development, it will still need a huge sum of money to even begin this insane megaproject. But despite all the mounting environmental and financial challenges, and with no construction  work having been started more than a year after the project was first announced, Marc Lore and  his team are still optimistic and determined to fulfill their vision of the most sustainable and  inclusive city in the world by the year 2030. What do you think Telosa would be able to do  differently compared to NEOM?

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