Marc Lore plans to build smart city from scratch

  • September 27, 2021
  • Steve Rogerson

US entrepreneur and billionaire Marc Lore plans to build a $500bn smart city in the American desert.

Called Telosa, the city will be built from scratch with a target population of five million by 2050. The first phase of construction is expected to house 50,000. The hope is that the first residents will move in around 2030.

The project’s planners intend for the city to be built on desert land, with Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Texas and Appalachia proposed as potential locations. The name Telosa is derived from the Ancient Greek word telos, meaning higher purpose.

Lore has hired the architectural firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) owned by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels.

The proposed land ownership in the city is inspired by Georgist principles, as advocated by political economist Henry George in his 1879 book Progress and Poverty. Under the rules, anyone would be licensed to build, keep or sell a home, building or any other structure, but the city would retain ultimate ownership of the land.

Lore said his goal was to build a city that combined the best of different cities in the world – as vibrant and diverse as New York, as efficient, safe and clean of Tokyo, and with the social services and governance of Stockholm.

He said cities built today were like real-estate projects that did not put people at the centre.

“I want people to have a sense of pride in the city,” said Lore.

Lore was president and CEO of Walmart from 2016 to 2021. He is also known as a founder of, bought by Amazon for $545m in 2011, and of ecommerce company Jet, bought by Walmart in 2016 for $3.3bn.

In Telosa, workplaces, schools and basic goods and services will all be within a 15-minute commute from residents’ homes. Vehicles that are powered by fossil fuels will be banned, with instead an emphasis placed on walkability and the use of scooters, bicycles and autonomous electric vehicles.

The image of the city will be dominated by Equitism Tower, a skyscraper that includes space for water storage and aeroponic farms, and with a roof covered in solar panels.