Tony Hsieh Thinks the Downtown Project Can Serve as Blueprint for Future Cities

December 9, 2013

11:00 am

According to Tony Hsieh, 50 percent of the human population now lives in cities – a number that will only increase–to 75 percent–in our lifetime. The number is important, and it’s a motivating statistic that’s helping to mold the direction of the Downtown Project in Las Vegas. During his talk at Tech Cocktail Celebrate, Hsieh talks about the goals of the Downtown Project and why it can potentially provide the blueprint for future communities/cities.

Since 2009, Hsieh has been focused on redeveloping downtown Las Vegas into a smart city (of sorts). Initially motivated by a search for a new headquarters for Zappos, the idea grew into taking the great company culture for which the company is renown, and adapting that into the greater scheme of the surrounding community. Instead of creating a campus in the vein of Google or Apple, the company wondered what it would look like to blend the company within the community itself, much in the way that NYU’s campus is seamlessly strewn throughout NYC.

In the video below, Hsieh talks about the goals for the downtown project and how he hopes Zappos’s culture can turn downtown Vegas into the co-working capital of the world, breaks down the investment in certain categories (small business; tech startups; education, arts, and culture; and real estate), and goes into why such investments are important (getting art downtown really encourages them to keep exploring and going to the next block).

Here is the video:

Tech Cocktail has received investment from Hsieh’s Downtown Project. 

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Ronald Barba was the previous managing editor of Tech.Co. His primary story interests include industry trends, consumer-facing apps/products, the startup lifestyle, business ethics, diversity in tech, and what-is-this-bullsh*t things. Aside from writing about startups and entrepreneurship, Ronald is interested in 'Doctor Who', Murakami, 'The Mindy Project', and fried chicken. He is currently based in New York because he mistakenly studied philosophy in college and is now a "writer". Tweet @RonaldPBarba.

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