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Nano City: Hotmail Mogul Plays Planner

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What to do after selling one's Silicon Valley tech company for $400 million at the tender age of 29? If you're Hotmail co-founder Sabeer Bhatia, you build a city— in India. But not just any city, a sustainable, tech capital — a sort of "Silicon Valley East," if you will. The Pac Heights resident wants to use his knowledge, good fortune, and connections to develop what he's calling Nano City, an 11,000 acre home for a million residents where young folks could develop their talents and skills in India.

Obviously, planning a city is no small task and most planned cities have failed to live up to their potential (or have had their Utopian schemes subverted by militaries of government). Bahtia is doing his homework, meeting with local city planners and urban designers— he's even flown students to the site to investigate and strategize. Planned green features include shaded walkways, an efficient mass transit system (easier said then done); waste water conversion plants; sustainable power generation; and green roofs with rain-water harvesting systems. After some trouble raising money and buying land due to his lack of experience, Bhatia has contracted an Indian development firm. Groundbreaking: early 2009.
· S.F. tech mogul wants to build city in India How to build a city sustainably [SF Gate]

[image via the Chron.]