This Billionaire Wants to Spend $400 Billion Building A Desert Utopia

This Billionaire Wants to Spend $400 Billion Building A Desert Utopia
Image: City of Telosa/Twitter

We’ve seen billionaires do some crazy shit, like go to space or avoid their tax returns, but building a new city from scratch in the desert is pretty out there. Marc Lore plans to do just that and has shared his plans for a new utopian city called Telosa.

Lore is a serial entrepreneur and investor, but he’s also known for being the CEO of Walmart e-commerce in the United States.

This has given him an incredible vision for a brand new city of the future that will cost *checks notes* $400 billion to build.

“Today in America we have a growing income and wealth disparity. The quality of life is not what it should be and I think with Telosa we have a chance to change that or at least test a new model, to see if we can learn something at the very least,” Lore said in a video.

“In the best-case scenario, we can create a higher quality of life for millions of people.”

Sure $400 billion seems like a lot of money to blow on a ‘test model’ but at least they’re not spending it on building a glass turd, right?

What is Telosa?

telosa
Image: City of Telosa/Twitter

So, what is Telosa and why does it sound suspiciously like Tesla?

According to the project’s website, Telosa will be “a new city in America that sets a global standard for urban living, expands human potential, and becomes a blueprint for future generations”.

As for the Tesla part, Telosa is derived from the Ancient Greek word telos which is used to describe “higher purpose”.

Lore intends to build the city from scratch and is currently scouting for a location in the USA desert with potential locations being Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Arizona and Texas.

The city is envisioned to grow to 150,000 acres and support 5 million people with a density similar to San Francisco.

Bjarke Ingels Group is the architecture firm behind Telosa’s design and is also known for designing Google’s new campuses in California and London.

The first renders of Lore’s vision instantly draw parallels to the utopian cities you would see in movies, like Tomorrowland or Brave New Word.

It’s a city that’s built with sustainability and the environment in mind — buildings are coated in nature and people travel in autonomous electric vehicles. Energy will be created via renewable sources and essentials like freshwater will be stored and recycled on-site.

telosa
Image: City of Telosa/Twitter

The website describes Telosa as a city for everyone which will grow organically and expand to a wider audience of residents looking for a “higher quality of life”.

While it may sound exactly like a utopia, the website is adamant that Telosa is not an attempt at creating an idealistic state and is instead grounded in reality.

Well, the reality is that it’s expected to cost $25 billion for the initial phase (1,500 acres and 50,000 residents) and more then $400 billion for the build-out. That’s more than double Jeff Bezos’ entire net worth.

It appears Telosa plans to be ready for a move-in date in 2030. That seems pretty ambitious to me but it’s definitely not the most ambitious thing about this project.