Y Combinator project would build new city using new technology, urban policies

Zoning, property rights, building codes all could be re-imagined.

July 07, 2016 |

Photo: Paul Miller/Creative Commons.

Y Combinator, a startup accelerator and investment firm that helped produce Airbnb and Dropbox has turned its attention to urban planning.

The firm plans to solicit proposals for research into construction methods, power sources, driverless cars, and even examine concepts of zoning and property rights. The project’s intent is to develop ways to reduce housing expenses by 90% and to develop a city code of laws simple enough to fit on 100 pages of text. 

The project would eventually produce a prototype city. Initial applications are due July 30, and researchers may be hired this year. The firm is already thinking about possible locations, according to reports. 

If plans unfold successfully, the project would be a showcase for new urban policy ideas.

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