Sidewalk Labs, Alphabet-owned Google’s urban innovation wing, has announced that it will start planning a possibly billion-dollar development called Quayside on Toronto’s waterfront. Planning will kick off on November 1 for the project, which is expected to cost at least $1 billion or more by the time it’s ready. Sidewalks Labs has initially committed $50 million towards the first phase of the project. Along with related developments, the mega-project is being dubbed “Sidewalk Toronto.”
This is not going to be a place where technology is haphazardly deployed for its own sake. According to Sidewalk Labs, it will “use emerging digital tools and the latest in urban design to solve big urban challenges in ways that we hope will inspire cities around the world.” In other words, the goal is to create something that is not only technologically advanced, but also environmentally sustainable, affordable and offers mobility and economic opportunity.