A Washington, D.C.-based tech company plans to manifest The Future with a test version of an American city they're building in the New Mexico desert. Which, really, is publicist-speak for "we're building ourselves a ghost town to play in."
The type of play that will take place in the brand new mini-city, however, is interesting. Complete with homes, power, sewage, commercial properties and roads, the US$200 million project - known as The Center - will be used by university researchers, federal agencies and the private sector to test out the viability of renewable energy sources, alternate traffic systems, next-gen wireless networks and other innovations with urban applications.
Though the town could support a population of 35,000, no residents - other than scientists and officials using The Center for practical tests - will actually live there. The absence of a population is one of the main reasons for the project; it's far easier to trigger a simultaneous blackout and sewage disaster for a test of a new emergency response system if no homeowners are around to complain they're missing the latest episode of House.