After the fires in Maui, a local resident nicknamed Auntie complained that Lahaina was slated to become a “satellite city” Residents posted on X (Twitter) that, before the fire, rumors had been circulating about a Digital City, or a 15-minute city, being set up on Maui Naturally the fact-checkers are treating these people like they’re just “conspiracy theorists,” but let’s look at what the new types of cities – also called Smart Cities – really are.
What are Smart Cities?
“Satellite city” just refers to a smaller city next to a larger one. Think Fort Worth and Dallas. It’s possible that Auntie got her words mixed up and meant to say “Smart City” instead of satellite city. Or, she could have meant that Lahaina was supposed to be a satellite city for something bigger that was slated to be built.
Smart Cities are a different matter entirely. (People often use “smart city” and “digital city” interchangeably.) TWI, a multinational engineering and consulting firm, defines a smart city as one that “uses information and communication technology (ICT) to improve operational efficiency, share information with the public and provide a better quality of government service and citizen welfare”
Engineering firms like this believe that increased data collection through the use of cameras and sensors in cities can improve citizens’ quality of life by streamlining traffic and relieving congestion. There are projects already in place to turn places like Tokyo, Singapore, New York City, and Reykjavic into smart cities.
Smart cities aren’t a “conspiracy theory.” They’re engineering projects that have been underway for quite some time already.
Maui was actually home to an early smart city project, called JUMPSmart Maui. American and Japanese researchers installed electric vehicle charging stations throughout the island and worked with Nissan Leaf owners to collect data about how well the charging stations actually worked. This project explains why Maui residents have smart cities on their radar.
It’s important to note that we’re told not all smart city concepts consist of individualized data collection. While some smart cities, like those in China, certainly can use facial recognition tech to track individuals, companies trying to sell their services in Western countries insist that data collection can be done anonymously and only be used for traffic relief.
But we must remember that this can change depending on political winds. Our cell phone data was supposed to be anonymous, too, and yet the CDC bought the data from phone companies to evaluate compliance during lockdowns. I see no reason to assume data about movement within cities would remain permanently anonymous and inviolate, either.
Look at the Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) in London. Mayor Sadiq Khan installed thousands of cameras across London to determine whether or not vehicles in the city comply with emissions standards, which most older vehicles do not. Many small business owners cannot afford to simply buy new vans, but noncompliant vehicles are fined £12.50 per day. In response, gangs of Londoners have vandalized huge numbers of traffic cameras.
Despite the promises of politicians and city planners, these cameras are not popular.
Then there are 15 minute cities.
A “15 minute city” refers to a city in which a person’s home and everything they need can be reached within a 15-minute walk or bike ride.
This, also, is getting a trial run in the U.K. Oxford has divided the city into six zones, and private cars will need permits to go into different zones, or they could face fines. While Oxford legitimately has traffic problems, residents are concerned that it will kill business in the city center because it will be so much more difficult for people to reach, and also simply push the traffic issues to surrounding areas as people are forced to change their driving routes.
British city planners claim the goal is to get more people to use public transportation. That can work, theoretically, if you live in an area where public transportation has not become dangerous, but that is increasingly rare.
I’ve lived in cities where you didn’t need to own a car. Depending on your phase of life, it can work out quite nicely. But I can’t imagine it working as a parent of 2+ teenagers with disparate interests. Being stuck in a 15-minute radius would severely curtail my children’s opportunities to learn, socialize, and develop as human beings. And it’s a killer for small businesses.
Yet the 15-minute city concept has been heavily promoted by the C40 Climate Leadership Group, a global network of nearly 100 mayors of major cities.
Again, this is not a conspiracy theory. C40 is a real group of mayors of real cities. Do you live in Houston or Miami? You live in a city run by a mayor who has made a commitment to work toward a 15-minute city.
There is a push to retrofit existing cities to a 15-minute model. But there are entirely new communities being planned, too.
These communities ARE coming.
We’ve written before about the Dutch farmer protests. The Dutch government has been forcibly purchasing farms to meet the EU’s nitrogen reduction standards, but the Dutch know that this has less to do with the environment and more to do with Tristate City.
The proposed Tristate City will be able to house 45 million people. Supporters include property developers, pension funds, and Utrecht’s economic board. They believe that Dutch cities are currently too small to compete with Asian megalopolises, and they believe this will be the wave of the future.
Meanwhile, in the U.S., a group called Flannery Associates has spent about $800 million purchasing approximately 52,000 acres northeast of San Francisco, right next to Travis Air Force Base. For years, this organization had been shrouded in mystery. Yet, within the past two weeks, this group has come forward with a website launch for their proposed utopia.
California Forever, the parent group behind Flannery Associates, promises a vibrant town powered by solar energy, full of walkable neighborhoods, and high-paying jobs.
But Flannery did not endear itself to the community with its years of secrecy and then its aggressive buying tactics. Their assumption that they can build a brand new city, taking as much as water as they want, has not gone over well. Local landowners, as well as Congressmen Mike Thompson and John Garamandi, have been intensely frustrated with the project owners and do not want the utopian city to go through.
And yet the members of California Forever are powerful billionaires. The group includes Stripe co-founders John and Patrick Collison, venture capitalist Michael Moritz, Marc Andreessen and his venture capital fund, LinkedIn founder (and Epstein associate) Reid Hoffman, venture capitalists Nat Friedman and Daniel Gross, and the philanthropist/widow of Steve Jobs, Laurene Jobs. The project is spearheaded by former Goldman Sachs investor Jan Sramek.
Sramek may be a 36 year old investing prodigy, but he has been incredibly vague on details regarding blueprints and environmental permitting, as well as financing for the people who may actually want to live there.
In a perfect world, jumping through the legal hurdles needed for a project like this would be impossible. The area is zoned for agriculture, and the existing communities of Solano County don’t want to change it.
Incidentally, a lot of Smart Cities are in wildfire-prone areas.
And Solano County is prone to wildfires. The LNU Lightning Complex fires, California’s 6th most destructive wildfires, torched part of Solano County in 2020. Locals say that the fire protection in Solano County is already underfunded. Putting a new city, planned to include massive solar farms (which are a fire risk on their own) will be putting additional stress on an infrastructure that’s already not up to code.
And you know, it’s kind of funny how people seem to keep putting up Smart Cities in fire-prone areas. You’d think that if you were going to dump tons of money into an area to improve the technology, they’d prioritize fire safety.
Just look at Kelowna, up in British Columbia. It was devastated by wildfires in 2003. Experts made recommendations, at the time, to avoid such destructive wildfires in the future but longtime local residents complain that no real changes were ever made. It’s like no one cared that much about whether or not Kelowna burned.
It’s not like Kelowna is some poverty-stricken area, either. In fact, it has the distinction of being Canada’s first “real-world 5G smart city.” The government was willing to dump money into fancy new cameras and a 5G network. You’d think they want to keep the area from burning down.
You might be wondering why this matters.
It matters because there is a method to the madness. Smart Cities, cities where constant surveillance is the norm, are coming. The move into them is not organic. It’s being driven.
Climate change is being used as an excuse for us to pack into heavily surveilled cities to reduce our carbon footprint, and the mainstream media has been pointing to this year’s wildfires as an example of climate catastrophe. The head of the UN announced this summer that we had entered an era of “global boiling.”
Except there are a few problems with this scenario.
First of all, 2023 has had heat records broken in some areas, but other parts of the world have had unusually cool summers. There has been a great deal of hullaballoo about the “hottest summer on record,” but averages have only barely made it past those of the 1930s. (source)
Second, these fires have been anything but natural. Recent evidence has come forth that Hawaii Electric turned the power off 6 hours before the string of deadly fires that destroyed Lahaina. Whether it was a Directed Energy Weapon or good old-fashioned gasoline we won’t know for some time, and personally, I’m not sure how much it matters. I hope as the lawsuit between Maui County and Hawaii Electric proceeds, solid facts will emerge. For now, all we know is that there was nothing “natural” about this supposed wildfire.
Up in Canada, you can find all kinds of videos and accusations being made online about who’s responsible for the fires. Some of them might be overblown but we know for a fact people have been arrested for arson. Arson and climate change are not the same thing!
If you think the talk about smart cities is hyperbolic, look at the talk about climate change. Reading the UN’s website, they treat an impending man-made climate cataclysm as a fact despite public debate from climate scientists worldwide.
Or listen to King Charles talk about how this is humanity’s “last chance” to save the planet despite the fact that the climate change predictions made in the 90s and early 2000s about what the 2020s are being proven seriously wrong.
The climate doom rhetoric is utterly ridiculous, yet we’re supposed to take everything King Charles says as gospel and dismiss Auntie? No, sorry, not buying it.
I don’t know whether or not King Charles believes his own rhetoric. I kind of suspect he doesn’t, considering how much beachfront property he owns. But it is clear: the powerful groups he is part of have a vision for the future that includes more surveillance for the rest of us.
We need to be paying attention.
This website is about preparedness. An awareness of the political class’s goals will help us to see what’s coming and think about what we personally can do to keep our families happy and healthy.
What are your thoughts about Smart Cities? Are they real or just another conspiracy theory? Do you think there will be a push to move us all into them or will they just be available for those who choose to live there? What do you see as the pros and cons? Do you believe plans for Smart Cities are behind some of the horrific disasters that have been occurring? What about the massive land purchases?
Let’s discuss it in the comments section.
About Marie Hawthorne
A lover of novels and cultivator of superb apple pie recipes, Marie spends her free time writing about the world around her.