Forget the humble skyscraper, Marc Lore wants to build an entirely sustainable city.
According to Arch Daily, the billionaire has tapped famed Danish starchitect Bjarke Ingels and his eponymous firm Bjark Ingels Group, or BIG, to help design a metropolis of the future: Telosa. If all goes to plan, the municipality will be built in the Southwest and house up to 5 million residents.
Lore, who founded e-commerce giant Jet.com, believes Telosa has the potential to be a truly utopian city. Fitting, since the name is derived from the Greek word for “higher purpose.” It will be built on the idea of “equitism,” a twist on capitalism centered around community ownership.
Initially, the land will be donated to a community endowment, which will use the money made through increasing land values to enhance public services and ensure every single citizen has equal access to healthcare, housing, education and transportation. In due course, those living in Telosa will get a stake in the site, so as the city does better, the residents do better. The entrepreneur believes Telosa could eventually be worth as much as $1 trillion and generate $60 billion a year for its inhabitants.
“The mission of Telosa is to create a more equitable and sustainable future,” Lore says in a video on the project’s website. “What if you could pay the same taxes that you pay today but get the best social services of any country in the world?”
Helping turn Lore’s dream into a reality is BIG. The firm, which has designed two Google campuses and the Audemars Piguet Museum, has been tasked with creating an urban hub that is open, fair and inclusive. Telosa will feature wide-open streets that prioritize pedestrians and cyclists but still offer room for autonomous public transportation. It will be replete with verdant public spaces that reflect the green ethos. There will also be facilities to recycle water and process renewable energy to promote long-term sustainability. And, at the center, will be a giant viewing tower called Equitism, which will act as both a beacon for the city and a meeting place for its residents.
Of course, before any of that can be built, Lore and BIG will have to pick a site for the city. Location scouting is currently underway for 1,500 acres of land in the Southwest, with plans to eventually expand to 150,000 acres. Once the right spot is found, expect things to move quickly. Telosa aims to start welcoming its first 50,000 residents in 2030.
Who knew utopia was less than a decade away?