When you think about a ghost town, visions might be invoked of a deserted Old West town where Wyatt Earp could have passed through, or maybe you think about a recent news story of one of the empty - or nearly so - newly constructed towns in some areas of China where a slowing economy has put big plans on hold.
Believe it or not, there is a group of investors here in America that plan to construct an entire 15 square mile city from the ground up, complete with high-rise buildings, a shopping mall, urban areas, suburbs, an airport and bus terminal, train tracks and paved roads, trees and parks, water and wastewater facilities, an electrical grid, and virtually everything else you would expect to find in a typical 20th century city with a population of around 35,000, but nobody will ever live there.
People would only complicate matters by necessitating planning for and compliance with crippling regulations and accommodations. It sounds like the dream of a serious misanthrope. In reality, it is the perfect environment for conducting large scale systems testing on everything from wireless communications, to computer networking (including security), to biological and nuclear emergency procedures, to smart power transmission schemes, to intelligent transportation, and beyond. This is truly a first-ever, thinking-outside-of-the-box project that hopes to attract corporate, university, and government customers who need to perform experiments in real-world settings without the nuisance of real-world humans. Warm bodies can be provided as needed, like movie lot extras.
CITE Post World War II Suburbs
CITE Streetcar Suburbs
CITE Micropolitan Downtown
Images are screen shots from accompanying video.
This innovation is called the Center for Innovation, Testing and Evaluation (CITE), and is the brainchild of a company named Pegasus Global Holdings, LLC, a private international technology development firm. I saw one of the partners, Bob Brunley, on a TV show talking about the plan, and decided it would be a good subject to mention on RF Cafe. Bob said that CITE is modeled after Disney World, where most of the maintenance and running of the facility is done underground (the "magic"), and above ground is the "amusement park" where engineers and scientists "play" with their products and systems. It will be located in Lea County, New Mexico in the Southeast corner of the state
A fully-equipped research campus will be provided that will include "wet and dry lab modular research labs, support labs, clean rooms, high-bay labs for fabrication, conferencing and meeting space, research offices and campus administration." Temporary housing will be provided for research teams. The establishment of permanent customer facilities will also be accommodated for long-term tenants.
To further insulate itself from outside regulation, CITE will be a privately-owned, privately-operated test and evaluation center. If you anticipate the need for such a facility, you might want to contact someone at Pegasus and get your reservation on the books. This could be big.