Bjarke Ingels’ practice BIG is masterplanning a city on a vacant 60,000 hectare site in the United States desert, dubbed Telosa.
Situated in the country’s central west, the practice aims to devise a new city, entirely from scratch.
"Our vision is to create a new city in America that sets a global standard for urban living, expands human potential and becomes a blueprint for future generations," a statement from Telosa reads.
Marc Lore is the driving force behind the city. The former CEO of e-commerce at Walmart, the entrepreneur sold his website Jet.com to the retailer in 2016 for $3.3 billion. Lore aims to acquire a large plot of land that will be donated to a community endowment. The entrepreneur hopes the increasing value of the plot will fund much of the city’s development, and make the living conditions for resident’s more ideal.
"There's a finite amount of land and that land was claimed generations ago – communities were created, tax dollars were used to invest in the land, and therefore the land increased in value over time with landowners not having to produce anything or take any risk," says Lore.
"Land could essentially go from a barren piece of desert to a modern-day city worth billions, or even trillions.
"It got me asking even more questions and thinking about a potential solution. What if that land had been owned by a community endowment?"
Both BIG and Lore aim for the city to house 50,000 people by 2030, eventually growing to a population of five million over 40 years.
Ebenezer Howard’s Garden Cities in the UK have formed much of the basis for Telosa. The city aims to have a density of 33 people per acre, or 4046 square metres, which is a similar density level to San Francisco.
Lore says that building the city from the ground up will ensure it gains the title of the most sustainable city on the planet.
"My focus turned to making Telosa the most sustainable city in the world," he says.
"From global warming to water and energy – how can we do better for future generations? And what technology and other innovations in policy and design can we embed in the city that is only possible because of the fact that we’re building it from scratch?"
"Just imagine what's possible with sustainable building materials, autonomous vehicles, electric aircraft, and underground movement of materials."
The city aims to contain a number of housing options that are accessible to all. BIG's design for the Dortheavej Residence in Copenhagen will be the source of inspiration for many of the city’s residential dwellings.
Equitism, a viewing tower located at the epicentre of the city in Telosa’s central park is described as the city’s centrepiece.
"Rising from the lush central park of Telosa, Equitism tower is a beacon for the City,” reads a statement on the city’s website.
"The inviting civic and lookout areas bring visitors and residents together. A photovoltaic roof, elevated water storage, and aeroponic farms enable the structure to share and distribute all it produces."
To read more about the city, visit cityoftelosa.com.