An Empty Town Built To Test New Technology

An Empty Town Built To Test New Technology

Countries around the world have taken to the idea of building renewable technology towns and villages–perhaps the best known is Masdar City, a zero-emissions cleantech hub. Pegasus Global Holdings, an international technology company, is taking a slightly different tack: building a 20 square mile “replica city” in the middle of New Mexico that will test cutting edge technologies, including intelligent traffic systems, smart grids, cyber security, and next-generation wireless networks.

Pegasus is, essentially, planning to build a city of the future that scientists can use as a playground for untested
ideas. But unlike every other city on the planet, no one will live in
Pegasus’s city, even though it will be capable of supporting 350,000
people in its rural communities, suburban areas, and urban locales. That way, it’s safer when the intelligent traffic systems go off the rails.

The $200 million project, which has been dubbed “The
Center,” will be used by researchers from military installations,
federal labs, and universities. The Center will feature a mix of old and new technology so that researchers can, for example, see how a solar system performs in an old building versus a new one.

Pegasus is remaining mum on the details for now, probably because the project is still in the tentative stages. When the company is ready, it will begin construction either in the Las Cruces area or the Albuquerque-Santa Fe region. Pegasus expects the city to be built by 2014, and the company tells us that it complete a feasibility study over the next five months that will define the design, scale, scope, and underlying business case for the project. We’ll keep you informed as the project goes forward.

[Image: Flickr user avrene]

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