Billionaire shows off plans to build new futuristic sci-fi city with flying cars

A billionaire former banker has unveiled ambitious plans to build a utopian "smart city" from scratch that will feature flying taxis, self-driving cars, and green energy tech.

Tech entrepreneur and former banker Marc Lore plans to build a $400 billion smart city based on futuristic technologies and "democratic" management of community property.

The new city, called "Telosa", promises 15-minute commutes and would be built around a large central park featuring a vertical forest high-rise called Equitism Tower.

Concept sketches showcase an "integrated" city geared towards pedestrians and green energy, with transportation prioritising cyclists, self-driving cars, a monorail and even flying taxis.

While the exact location is still to be confirmed, land-rich states such as Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Texas, Arizona, and the Appalachian mountains are all being considered.

While the project is undoubtedly ambitious – possibly even unrealistic – the company behind it insists it is not a "utopian" project.

"Our vision is big. It's not only about creating the city of Telosa itself – one that sets the standard for urban, big city living," said Marc Lore in a statement.

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"It's also about the people – creating opportunity and equality, celebrating diversity and inclusion, and establishing a sense of pride for where we live."

Telosa hopes to begin moving residents in by 2030, with the city being built in stages. Initially, a 1,500-acre site housing 50,000 residents would cost $25 billion, and this would then scale up to 5 million residents and $400 billion in the decades following. This would give it roughly the density of San Francisco.

So-called smart cities are increasingly becoming the focus of the wealthy worldwide, though it is unclear how successful these projects are.

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The American-Senegalese rapper Akon announced plans to build a $6 billion pan-African city in Senegal based on cryptocurrency and the movie Black Panther but has reportedly not seen any progress since the laying of a ceremonial stone in the middle of a field a year ago. Whether Telosa will fare any better remains to be seen.

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