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How Would You Build a Sustainable City From Scratch?


By Dave Lubach Green
sustainable city

Facility managers (FMs) spend their days trying to make existing buildings run more efficiently. They also help lead the discussion when institutional and commercial operations plan to construct new buildings.

But what would FMs do with a chance to build an entire city? Perhaps some FMs would dream about how to construct a city capable of hosting a population of 5 million people from scratch, as is being proposed by a billionaire, according to CNN.

Marc Lore, a former Walmart executive, has outlined a vision to build the proposed city on 150,000 acres somewhere in the U.S. Areas Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Arizona, Texas, and the Appalachian region are proposed locations.

Telosa, the future city’s name, would include eco-friendly architecture, sustainable energy, and a drought-resistant water system. The city’s design would allow occupants to access schools, workplaces and other sites such as stores and restaurants within a quarter-hour commute from home. The city would ban fossil-fuel powered vehicles and feature autonomous vehicles.

Energy efficiency, water consumption, and streamlined transportation — all topics FMs embrace on a regular basis.

Of course, the price tag for such a project, even for a billionaire, is steep. The project is reported to cost $400 billion and would take 40 years to reach its projected 5 million population. To put that cost into perspective, most recent NFL stadiums cost roughly $1 billion to build. 

Dave Lubach is managing editor, facility market.

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