About two years ago, the tech giant Google started a company dubbed Sidewalk Labs. The company's goal was to fast-forward the innovation in cities all around the globe. Sidewalk Labs then embarked a massive feasibility study on what a futuristic city might look like and the location in which they would deploy their vision.
Recently, Google and Sidewalk Labs announced that they had chosen a city, and it's Toronto. Sidewalk Labs is aiming to transform a part of the metropolis that's directly in front of the sea. The project is officially named "Sidewalk Toronto."
Sidewalk Labs is planning to integrate innovative design and cutting-edge technology with the aim of creating the very first futuristic city for companies and people.
According to Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada, with this project, Toronto will become a model city for Canada and the world.
According to Dan Doctoroff, Sidewalk Labs’ CEO, "the company is given the tremendous opportunity to redefine the meaning of urban life."
While Sidewalk Labs was scouting for a possible location, Doctoroff envisioned the futuristic city to have free WiFI covering the city grounds, automated trash disposal system, and sustainable energy. He also envisioned the futuristic city to run on self-driving cars, which would reduce the greenhouse gases by 66% and at the same time saving the residents an hour on average caused by transportation delays.
Doctoroff also wants every resident to be just a walking distance away from a green space. Since the city runs on autonomous vehicles, this would free up space as there would be less parking spaces and fewer lanes.
During a conference, Doctoroff said that over time, he believes that Sidewalk Toronto will develop to a point in which it would demonstrate to the entire world that there's a better way of building cities, making the entire world fairer, greener, healthier, more convenient, and more exciting. All these factors combined will hopefully create an environment that encourages people, startups, companies, and organizations to innovate in all areas of life.
If Sidewalk Labs succeeds in transforming Toronto into the envisioned futuristic city, then the city could easily become the next global hub for industries that intersect technology and people.
As of the moment, Sidewalk Labs is targeting the southeast area of Toronto's downtown. Doctoroff was quick to comment that this is just the start. He hopes that the development will extend to the eastern area of the waterfront.
John Tory, the mayor of Toronto, Helen Burstyn, a member of the Waterfront Toronto board, and Erich Schmidt, an Alphabet executive, were all present during the presentation.
Burstyn said that a partnership of this magnitude has never occurred in Toronto or anywhere else in the world.
While this is truly a massive project, it's not something that can easily be stamped as a "wishful thinking" kind of project. After all, Google is behind the idea. The first part of the project will begin within the year.