Building The City Of The Future

Pegasus Global Holdings plans to build a new city in the New Mexico desert that will feature all the latest technologies you can expect if you were to build a city from scratch: renewable solar/wind energy, a desalination and water purification plant, airport and train stations, a downtown with four- to six-story buildings, suburban neighborhoods, farming, secured borders and high-speed wireless Internet.

How many people will live in this city of the future? Zero.

The new city is meant to be a testbed for new technologies that normally can’t test in an established urban environment as people would get in the way. I can understand in theory why a simulated test environment would be needed. However, real life with real people is supposed to be messy. Technology developed in the simulated world often go awry in the real world as unanticipated scenarios unfold to screw things up.

As I told my co-worker when he pointed this story out to me, all the new city needed was a bunch of androids to go berserk and start killing visitors (i.e., the 1973 movie, “Westworld,” directed by Michael Crichton). Or maybe the U.S. military will use it for weapons testing and/or urban warfare training.

Having read too much bad science fiction in the 1970’s and early 1980’s, I can’t help to think that maybe this project is a prelude to the mile-high city states where the 1% ruled from the penthouses, the 99% worked the lower levels, and sentient computers run everything else. American society is ripe to make this happen.