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Billionaire Marc Lore, a former Walmart executive, has plans to build a $400 billion city in the desert. The city’s name will be Telosa, derived from the ancient Greek word “telos” and meaning an ultimate object or aim. Lore’s plans for the city are vast and ambitious. 

The city will be built completely from scratch and will incorporate a “15-minute city design”. This will provide residents access to necessities such as work, school, shopping, and other amenities, all within a 15min radius of their home. Lore’s proposal for the city stretches over 150,000 acres and depicts eco-friendly architecture, a sustainable energy system, and a drought-resistant water system. There is no confirmation on Telosa’s location within the US just yet, but the future city’s website lists Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Arizona, Texas, and the Appalachian region as possibilities. 

The architecture firm hired to build Telosa recently released images of the sustainable city. These images feature buildings covered in vegetation and people traveling in autonomous vehicles, as fossil-fuel-powered vehicles will be banned. There are also plans to build a massive skyscraper called “Equitism Tower.” The building will store water, have an energy-producing roof, and farms that will “share and distribute all it produces.”

Initially, construction will begin to accommodate 50,000 residents and will cost about $25 billion. The goal is for Telosa to welcome its first residents by 2030. Then within 40 years, planners hope for the city to house 5 million people, which will cost roughly $400 billion.

Marc Lore doesn’t only have plans for the city’s layout, but he hopes its government will illustrate a “new model for society” and says Telosa will be the “most open, most fair and most inclusive city in the world.” The city will allow locals to “participate in the decision-making and budgeting process.” It will also have a system in place for residents to share ownership of the land. 

Telosa is not the only city in the works for its architecture firm. The company has also been commissioned by Toyota to build a 2,000-person city near Mount Fuji. Like Telosa, it will be a futuristic city centred around autonomous vehicle testing, advanced technology and robot-assisted living. If these cities have the success their planners hope, city-living may look very different in just a few decades.

Difficult words

Derive (v): To come from something.

Vast (adj): A great extent or quantity.

From scratch (phrasal verb): To be made from the very beginning, usually homemade.

Incorporate (v): To include or contain something.

Amenity (n): A service or convenient aspect of a place.

Radius (n): The distance from the centre of a circle.

Depict (v): To portray or show.

Accommodate (v): To provide housing for someone.

Commission (v/n): To pay someone to create something.

Activities

For listening practice, listen to the recorded article here:

American English Audio: Coming Soon!

Match the Synonym!

1. DeriveA. Extensive
2. VastB. Include
3. Frome scratchC. Distance
4. Incorporate D. Service
5. AmenityE. Employ
6. Radius F. Homemade
7. Depict G. Originate
8. Accomodate H. Portray
9. CommissionI. House

True or False?

1. Marc Lore was once the CEO of Walmart. T / F

2. The name Telosa comes from the word “telescope”. T / F

3. The city will be built completely from scratch. T / F

4. Telosa will have all important amenities with 15 minutes. T / F

5. The city will be built high up in the mountains. T / F

6. It is uncertain what country Telosa will be located. T / F

7. Fossil-fuel-powered vehicles will not be allowed in Telosa. T / F

8. No skyscrapers will be built in the city. T / F

9. Telosa hopes to have its first residents by 2030. T / F

10. Toyota has hired a company to build a city near Mt. Fuji. T / F

Unscramble the sentence!

1. plans / are / vast / and / the / Lore’s / ambitious / city / for

2. from / scratch / The / city / will / built / be / completely

3. images / buildings / feature / covered / These / vegetation / in

4. begin / Initially, / 50,000 / residents / will / to / accommodate / construction

5. works / city / the / the / only / Telosa / in / is / not

Listening and Vocabulary

Listen to the article and fill in the words OR practice vocabulary and fill in the words.

American English Audio: Coming Soon!

ResidentsAncientInclusive
ArchitectureSustainableNecessities
DistributeDecadesConfirmation

Billionaire Marc Lore, a former Walmart executive, has plans to build a $400 billion city in the desert. The city’s name will be Telosa, derived from the (1)__________ Greek word “telos” and meaning an ultimate object or aim. Lore’s plans for the city are vast and ambitious. 

The city will be built completely from scratch and will incorporate a “15-minute city design”. This will provide residents access to (2)_____________ such as work, school, shopping, and other amenities, all within a 15min radius of their home. Lore’s proposal for the city stretches over 150,000 acres and depicts eco-friendly architecture, a sustainable energy system, and a drought-resistant water system. There is no (3)___________ on Telosa’s location within the US just yet, but the future city’s website lists Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Arizona, Texas, and the Appalachian region as possibilities. 

The architecture firm hired to build Telosa recently released images of the(4) ___________ city. These images feature buildings covered in vegetation and people traveling in autonomous vehicles, as fossil-fuel-powered vehicles will be banned. There are also plans to build a massive skyscraper called “Equitism Tower.” The building will store water, have an energy-producing roof, and farms that will “share and (5)___________ all it produces.”

Initially, construction will begin to accommodate 50,000 residents and will cost about $25 billion. The goal is for Telosa is welcome its first (6)___________ by 2030. Then within 40 years, planners hope for the city to house 5 million people, which will cost roughly $400 billion.

Marc Lore doesn’t only have plans for the city’s layout, but he hopes its government will illustrate a “new model for society” and says Telosa will be the “most open, most fair and most (7)___________ city in the world.” The city will allow locals to “participate in the decision-making and budgeting process.” It will also have a system in place for residents to share ownership of the land. 

Telosa is not the only city in the works for its (8)_____________ firm. The company has also been commissioned by Toyota to build a 2,000-person city near Mount Fuji. Like Telosa, it will be a futuristic city centred around autonomous vehicle testing, advanced technology and robot-assisted living. If these cities have the success their planners hope, city-living may look very different in just a few (9)__________.

Conversation Questions

Take turns speaking with a partner or try to answer on your own:

1. Did you find this article interesting? Why or why not?
2. Did you learn anything new from this article? If so, what?
3. What do you think of this story?
4. Have any cities recently been built from scratch in your country?
5. Should all cities have a 15-minute design?
6. How far do you have to travel to essential places (work, school, stores, hospitals, etc.)?
7. Is your city eco-friendly?
8. Would you like to live in a city like Telosa?
9. Do you think a city like Telosa will ever be built in your country?
10. Do you think all cities will be like Telosa one day?
11. Do you like the city you live in?
12. Is there anything you don’t like about your city?
13. Is the cost of Telosa worth it?
14. Is it a good idea to have residents share ownership of a city’s land?
15. Would you like to be part of important decisions and the budgeting process of your city?
16. What do you think about Telosa banning fossil-fuelled-cars?
17. Do you think all cities will ban gas and diesel cars some day?
18. Has your city changed a lot in the past 20 years?
19. Do you think Telosa will be a success?
20. Do companies test autonomous cars in your country?