Former Walmart executive Marc Lore has unveiled plans for Telosa, a $400 billion utopian city that aims to “create a more equitable and sustainable future” that can “become a blueprint of future generations.”
“We are going to be the most open, the most fair and the most inclusive city in the world,” Lore said in a promotional video.
The utopian city is set to be located in the desert in Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Arizona, Texas, or the Appalachian region, according to the project’s website.
“If you went into the desert where the land was worth nothing, or very little, and you created a foundation that owned the land, and people moved there and tax dollars built infrastructure and we built one of the greatest cities in the world, the foundation could be worth a trillion dollars,” Lore said in an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek. “And if the foundation’s mission was to take the appreciation of the land and give it back to the citizens in the form of medicine, education, affordable housing, social services: Wow, that’s it!”
Bloomberg Businessweek wrote, “Lore acknowledges this is all a bit preposterous. He’s rich but not rich enough to fund such a large development project by himself, and he can’t say with any specificity how he’d get the money. He hasn’t acquired land or water rights, precursors to undertaking the daunting task of persuading people to leave real cities for his hypothetical one. Nor has Lore figured out how the foundation would operate or persuaded local officials to grant it the power it’d likely need to function. Clearing those hurdles would get Telosa to the point where Lore could see whether his unproven economic model would actually succeed.”
The city’s first phase of construction aims to reach 50,000 residents over 1,500 acres, which will cost an estimated $25 billion. The final project has a goal of 5 million residents and is estimated to cost over $400 billion.
Sarah Moser, an associate professor of geography at Montreal’s McGill University, thinks there is no chance Lore succeeds. While Moser has identified about 150 greenfield city-building projects being planned around the world that are backed either by governments or private interests, none have hit their population targets.