Forget Tech Startups, This is an Entire City Startup

Tech super-accelerator, Y Combinator, wants to launch a new kind of startup: a brand-new city.

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By 2050, two out of three people will live in cities. That is a sizable customer base, to state the least. This is why Y Combinator, one of the most successful tech accelerators in the country, is considering launching an entire, whole new city.

In a blog post, Y Combinator partner Adora Cheung, and Sam Altman; Y Combinator’s president, wrote:

We want to study building new, better cities.

The world is full of people who aren’t realizing their potential in large part because their cities don’t provide the opportunities and living conditions necessary for success. A high-leverage way to improve our world is to unleash this massive potential by making better cities.

There are specifics Y Combinator wants to address in its quest to build a new city. A few are:

  • How can we make and keep housing affordable? This is critical to us; the cost of housing affects everything else in a city.
  • What is the right role for vehicles in a city? Should we have human-driven cars at all?
  • How can we have affordable high-speed transit to and from other cities?
  • How can we encourage a diverse range of people to live and work in the city?
  • How should citizens guide and participate in government?

Lest anyone think these are the touchy-feely musings of very wealthy Silicon Valley people, consider this: Y Combinator has planned out a strategy and issued a call-to-arms, of sort:

The first phase of this will be a YC Research project. We’ll publicly share our results and, at the end of the process, we’ll decide if it’s something we should pursue and at what exact locations. We’re seriously interested in building new cities and we think we know how to finance it if everything else makes sense.

This is not a small undertaking. We’ve begun research and are now forming a team to work on it full-time. We need people with strong interests and bold ideas in architecture, ecology, economics, politics, technology, urban planning, and much more.

 If you’re interested, please apply here by July 30, 2016.

 If you have ideas to share, but don’t want to work on this full-time, email us your thoughts: cities@ycr.org.



One Response to Forget Tech Startups, This is an Entire City Startup

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