The headline was intriguing. The chance for planners and designers to get on with it without being bothered by real people! The following summarizes what led to the headline.
‘A scientific ghost town in the heart of southeastern New Mexico oil and gas country will hum with the latest next-generation technology – but no people. A $US1 billion city without residents will be developed in Lea County, near Hobbs, to help researchers test everything from intelligent traffic systems and next-generation wireless networks to automated washing machines and self-flushing toilets.
The town will be modelled after the real city of Rock Hill, South Carolina, complete with highways, houses and commercial buildings, old and new. No one will live there, although they could as houses will include all the necessities, like appliances and plumbing. The point of the town is to enable researchers to test new technologies on existing infrastructure without interfering in everyday life. For instance, while some researchers will be testing smart technologies on old grids, others might be using the streets to test selfdriving cars.
Development cost is estimated at $US400 million, although overall investment in the project could top $US1 billion. The project is expected to create350 permanent jobs and about 3,500 indirect jobs in its design, development, construction and ongoing operational phases.
For the full article see www.theage.com.au/technology/sci-tech/the-1b-newtown-where-nobodyshome-20120510-1ydl8.html#ixzz1uQGSmzHj