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22 Sep 2021
Bjarke Ingels and Marc Lore reveal plans for Telosa, 'world's most sustainable city'
By Tom Walker
Bjarke Ingels and Marc Lore reveal plans for Telosa, 'world's most sustainable city'
The US$400bn city could be home for up to 5 million people
Photo: Telosa/Junto Group/Bjarke Ingels/Marc Lore
Plans have been revealed for a US$400bn city which could be the home for up to 5 million people in the US.

Billionaire investor Marc Lore and architect Bjarke Ingels have teamed up for the ambitious Telosa project, which is being touted as a sustainable metropolis in the desert.

Lore – a serial entrepreneur who also served as president and CEO of Walmart US eCommerce until January 2021 – has set up a company called Junto Group to drive the project.

Junto consists of a team of urban planners, designers, historians, community engagement experts, economists, financial managers, scientists, and engineers from a variety of backgrounds.

As well as Bjarke Ingels, partners in the Telosa project include real estate consultants RCLCO, engineering giant Buro Happold and Archer, a firm developing electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft.

Lore said the project was based on a new model which he has dubbed "Equitism", where the land on which a city rests would be owned by the community living there.

"Capitalism has been an incredible economic model, but there are significant flaws, especially around income and wealth inequality," Lore said.

"Many of these flaws are a result of the land ownership model that America was built on.

"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.

"Land could essentially go from a barren piece of desert to a modern-day city worth billions – or even trillions.

"So what if that land had been owned by a community endowment?

"There’s plenty of land left – what if we had a clean slate to demonstrate this new model?

"Once I thought through the Equitism model, I realized there was an opportunity to build a new city from scratch to demonstrate how that model could work."

He also wants to make Telosa the most sustainable city in the world.

"From equitism, my focus turned to making Telosa the most sustainable city in the world," he added.

"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.

Our vision is big. It’s not only about creating the city of Telosa itself – one that sets the standard for urban, big city living.

"It’s also about the people – creating opportunity and equality, celebrating diversity and inclusion, and establishing a sense of pride for where we live.

"In the end, if we get Equitism right, it could serve as the blueprint for a new economic model that the world can learn and benefit from."

Lore is now looking for potential sites for Telosa.

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