Trump proposes 10 futuristic “Freedom Cities” with Jetsons-like flying automobiles

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

Andrew Kelly | Reuters

Former President Donald Trump on Friday shared the outlines of an ambitious plan to build 10 new “freedom cities” and beat China in developing flying cars.

The 2024 Republican nominee for president lamented that the US had “lost heart” and called for a national competition to design cities to drive a “quantum leap in American living standards.”

Another component of Trump’s plan, detailed in a less than four-minute video released by his campaign, is for the federal government to increase investment in flying private vehicles.

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

The policy-leaning plan outlined a vision of America’s future that was vaguely reminiscent of The Jetsons, the classic cartoon depicting a utopian, high-tech society where commuters commuted to work in flying cars.

Efforts to build electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles, or eVTOLs, are already well underway — although air taxis and air highways aren’t expected anytime soon as automakers are still working on self-driving technologies for inland cars.

In a press release, Trump’s campaign claimed that 10 cities the size of Washington, DC, could be built with less than a tenth of 1% of the hundreds of millions of acres of “empty” state land. That land would not be part of US national parks, the campaign said.

As Trump places home and car ownership at the heart of his vision of an ideal American future, city planners and politicians are increasingly championing urban infrastructure designs that increase density and reduce car dependency.

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

And he asked Congress to approve “baby bonuses” for new parents, a proposal similar to Democrats’ proposed “baby bonds” legislation that would give each 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 with “universal” tariffs aimed at boosting domestic manufacturing.

The latest plan came a day before Trump was scheduled to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

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

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