July 20, 2024

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Trump proposes 10 futuristic ‘Freedom Cities,’ with Jetsons-like flying cars

Trump proposes 10 futuristic ‘Freedom Cities,’ with Jetsons-like flying cars

Former U.S. president Donald Trump speaks in support of candidates Doug Mastriano and Mehmet Oz during a rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, September 3, 2022.

Andrew Kelly | Reuters

Former President Donald Trump on Friday shared the broad strokes of an ambitious plan to build 10 new “Freedom Cities” and beat China in the development of flying cars.

Lamenting that the U.S. has “lost its boldness,” the top Republican 2024 presidential candidate called for a national contest to design the cities as a way to spur a “quantum leap in the American Standard of Living.”

Another plank of Trump’s plan, detailed in a less-than-four-minute video posted by his campaign, is for the federal government to boost investment in flying personal vehicles.

“I want to ensure that America, not China, leads this revolution in air mobility,” Trump said in the video.

The policy-light plan sketched a vision of America’s future that was in some ways reminiscent of “The Jetsons,” the classic cartoon depicting a high-tech utopian society where commuters traveled to work by flying car.

Efforts to build electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicles, or eVTOLs, are already well underway — though flying taxis and aerial highways aren’t expected anytime soon, with automakers still working out self-driving technology for landlocked cars.

In a press release, Trump’s campaign asserted that 10 cities the size of Washington, D.C., could be built using less than one-tenth of 1% of the hundreds of million of acres of “empty” government-owned land. That land would not be part of U.S. national parks, the campaign said.

While Trump puts home- and car-ownership at the center of his vision for an ideal American future, urban planners and politicians have increasingly championed urban infrastructure concepts that increase density and reduce reliance on cars.

Trump’s video also teased a “major initiative” to lower the cost of living, with a focus on lowering the costs of buying a car and building a single-family home.

And he called for Congress to approve “baby bonuses” for young parents, a proposal that appears similar to “baby bonds” legislation proposed by Democrats that would give every child $1,000 at birth.

The “Quantum Leap” plan follows other policy announcements from Trump’s 2024 campaign. Days earlier, Trump unveiled a protectionist trade agenda featuring “universal” tariffs aimed to encourage domestic production.

The latest plan came one day before Trump is set to address the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Correction: This article has been revised to reflect that the “baby bonds” legislation proposed by Democrats would give every child $1,000 at birth. A previous version mischaracterized the proposal.