Billionaire Marc Lore unveiled plans last week to build a woke utopian city from scratch somewhere in the American desert.
The former Walmart executive and e-commerce tycoon told Bloomberg the new city — called Telosa, after the ancient Greek word, telos, meaning "highest purpose" — will aim to solve the growing wealth gap in America, which he says is the country's biggest challenge.
"Most civilizations in history at some point fall, right?" he asked. "This is going to bring down America."
But before it does, Lore is determined to try out his version of a solution: a 150,000-acre modern metropolis with eco-friendly architecture, sustainable energy production, and a drought-resistant water system.
"The mission of Telosa is to create a more equitable, sustainable future. That's our North Star," Lore said in a promotional video, according to CNN, describing his proposal as "the most open, the most fair, and the most inclusive city in the world."
Planners are reportedly considering areas in Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Arizona, Texas, and the Appalachian region as potential sites for the city.
We Are Disruptors | Creating a More Equitable and Sustainable Future - Telosa www.youtube.com
According to Lore, the proposal is based on ideas espoused by American economist and social theorist Henry George. In his 1879 book, "Progress and Poverty," George essentially argues that private land ownership is to blame for rising inequality.
Along those lines, Lore claims that the current system of capitalism has "significant flaws," many of them due to "the land ownership model that America was built on."
"While the current economic system is a growth engine, it has led to increasing inequality," the project's website explains. Instead, it touts a new economic vision called "equitism" as a way to build "inclusive growth."
"If you went into the desert where the land was worth nothing, or very little, and you created a foundation that owned the land, and people moved there and tax dollars built infrastructure and we built one of the greatest cities in the world, the foundation could be worth a trillion dollars," Lore told Bloomberg.
"And if the foundation's mission was to take the appreciation of the land and give it back to the citizens in the form of medicine, education, affordable housing, social services: Wow, that's it!" he added.
Bloomberg reported that the initial phase of the project would be built to accommodate 50,000 residents across roughly 1,500 acres by 2030 at a cost of $25 billion. But over 40 years, the city would eventually grow to house 5 million people across 150,000 acres at a cost of $400 billion.
Lore, who is reportedly worth $4 billion, hired Copenhagen-based architectural firm Bjarke Ingels Group to design the city.
Renderings of Telosa displayed on the proposal's website show pedestrians leisurely strolling in a futuristic city surrounded by greenery, with air taxi systems for transportation.
In its writeup, Bloomberg notes that Lore is not the first ambitious entrepreneur to envision building a city from scratch, and he likely won't be the last.
Sarah Moser, an associate professor of geography at Montreal's McGill University who studies planned cities, told the outlet that she has identified at least 150 city-building projects backed by either governments or private groups. None of them have hit their population targets, she said.