CITE’s Billion Dollar City with Zero Residents

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A city planned for a population of 35,000 people is soon to be formed in the southern New Mexican desert, but nobody will be moving in.

This $1 billion city will have a modern downtown complete with malls, parks, roads, a church and a residential area. In total it will be fifteen miles long and will be surrounded by fields to test agricultural advances too. With a population of zero the possibilities are endless.

This project is named CITE (Center for Innovation, Testing and Evaluation) and will be used as a testing center for technological advances coming to modern towns. The group behind this creation is telecommunications/tech firm, Pegasus Global Holdings.

The kind of experiments that will be performed consist of finding new forms of water treatment, energy consumption/creation, agriculture, transport, construction, safety, and communication.

“We need to develop new testing environments that go beyond the conventional models operating today. It sounds like rapid simulations and evaluations would be possible with CITE, which would allow us to cycle through tests much faster,”  Nataly Gattegno, Design Principal at the Future Cities Lab in San Francisco, told CNN.

Robert Brumley, Pegasus’s Managing Director, stated, “The vision is an environment where new products, services and technologies can be demonstrated and tested without disrupting everyday life.”
He also believes the CITE project will bring more advanced products to consumers in a faster and more reliable manner, as they can be tested in a “life-like” environment.
Brumley also said, “You can bring new things to have them stressed, break them, and find out the laws of unintended consequences. This should become like a magnet where people with ideas and technologies come, and not just test but interact. The US spends billions of dollars on research and gets 2-3% return in commercial products. This facility could extend and increase the return.”
The project was proposed in 2011, but land suitable for the site was hard to find. Now with a set spot to build, workers can begin this year and hopefully the city will be operational by 2018.
CITE will bring in tech giants as well as, educational, agricultural, and government departments to test their products. The city is hoped to rival other tech cities around the world.
These ‘future city’ designs are popping up everywhere from Masdar City in UAE that is waste free, and PlanIT in Portugal that runs off sensors. However, the people at Pegasus believe their city will stand out from the others as it is purely for testing purposes.
Brumely told CNN, “The facility is open to anybody who wants to test. That makes it unique.”
There are some skeptics who believe the city will not be accurate because they do not have people living there and giving a life-like environment.
Either way it will be fascinating to see the advancements that come from CITE.