- For several years now, a group of wealthy Silicon Valley businessmen have been buying land near San Francisco
- The goal is to build a new city there to meet the local challenges, making juicy profits
- This project still lacks concreteness and some consider it too utopian
It all started in 2017, when a group of investors tried to start an ambitious local venture in the heart of Silicon Valley. The idea is simple: build a whole new city near San Francisco.
At first, the businessmen gathered in the Flannery Associates company behaved rather unobtrusively. Yet they are buying land en masse, often from farmers, worth a total of $800 million. To convince the recalcitrant, the prices offered are well above the market.
Excellent initiative or utopian project?
On the spot, their footsteps end up attracting attention. And in the absence of public disclosure, speculation is rife, reports the New York Times. Some wonder if Disney is preparing to build a new amusement park or if China is taking over American territory.
But that’s nothing, the investors just want to create a new city of tens of thousands of inhabitants, running on green energy and quality public transport. A sort of little paradise that responds to Silicon Valley’s major problems: lack of housing, traffic jams… all with the promise of thousands of jobs.
These investors are well established in the technology capital of the world. Among them are Michael Moritz, Marc Andreessen and Chris Dixon, venture capital figures. Also noteworthy is the presence of Patrick and John Collison, co-founders of the Stripe company, or Laurene Powell Jobs, ex-wife of Steve Jobs, now head of the Emerson collective.
Although they have been silent for a long time, the promoters of this project came out into the open last week. They thus contacted the authorities for future appointments.
The city is still a long way from being built, because in order to move forward the company will first need to get the consent of Solano County residents, likely through a referendum.
As for the local elected officials interviewed by the New York newspaper, they are rather skeptical. The local infrastructure and in particular the motorway are already overloaded, so the establishment of a new city would not have the best effect.
Likewise, the region is prone to droughts and recurring fires, so it might not be a good idea to settle tens of thousands of people there. In any case, it will be interesting to see if this project will materialize and if the inhabitants will finally give their consent.