No Man’s Town.
A 1$ billion 15-square-mile city is being created in New Mexico desert… and won’t host human beings. The “CITE” (Center for Innovation, Testing and Evaluation) is being created on the model of a 35.000-people American city, except that instead of hosting inhabitants, it will mostly enable the development of new technologies aimed at shaping the future urban landscape.
The tech firm Pegasus Global Holdings is leading this initiative which will hopefully make major findings in the fields of transport, construction, communication and security. The aim is to be able to test these new technologies, robots and softwares in real life without having to disturb the course of people’s lives.
Among technologies that will be tested potentially by 2018, we find driverless cars on responsive roads monitored from above by drones, intelligent and disaster-resilient houses as well as sustainable energy systems. Accidents and stress could also by applied to them in order to find more efficient ways to counter them.
Thinking about what it could mean regarding urban planning and urban policies, one might wonder to what extent findings can be fully applied to the context of a “real” city. Indeed, by testing new technologies outside of its normal context, it forgets the whole human and behavioural factor, the way people interact with technology and make use of it in various ways that are not systematically anticipated.