Sidewalk Labs Is Building Its Own City

Sidewalk Labs Is Building Its Own City

All three levels of government joined together Tuesday to announce that Waterfront Toronto is teaming up with Sidewalk Labs - a sister company of Google and Alphabet Inc. - to create the new community to be called Quayside.

Alphabet won the contract to develop a 12-acre (522,720 square feet) site named Quayside on the waterfront of Lake Ontario. Doctoroff was CEO of Bloomberg LP and deputy mayor of New York City under Michael Bloomberg, Bloomberg's founder.

Sidewalk Labs has committed US$50 million to an initial phase of joint planning and pilot project testing.

The campus will be located in Toronto's Eastern Waterfront district.

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"Today's announcement is about creating a new type of [neighborhood] that puts people first", Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, according to the release. Sidewalk Labs scoured the globe for the flawless place to create a district focused on solutions to these pressing challenges, and we found it on Toronto's Eastern Waterfront-along with the ideal public-sector partner, Waterfront Toronto.

In many ways, this is similar to the myriad "smart city" projects that are being planned and executed around the globe. Choosing Toronto to make this vision a reality was no easy task for the Sidewalk Labs, the division of Alphabet responsible for this massive undertaking. Sidewalk Labs is a firm specializing in urban renovation, and their project on the Toronto Eastern Waterfront, southeast of downtown, will be a sterling example of a model neighborhood that encapsulates life in the 21st Century. "Toronto is the ideal place for Alphabet and Sidewalk Labs to do something impactful that we hope will foster new ideas that can be applied by cities around the world".

Focusing on people-centered urban design, Sidewalk Toronto will create a district on the Eastern Waterfront where people can live, work and play. The area aims to become an innovation hub for technologies that improve city life, from "green" energy systems and self-driving transit to new construction techniques that can lower housing costs, the companies said in a statement. "It will also reflect the cultural diversity and openness of Toronto, and help connect all Torontonians to waterfront beaches, parks, and communities".

The company said it would convene a town hall on November 1st to kick off a year-long community outreach process, in an effort to head off any NIMBY blowback that could result from a project like this.