Daily Management Review

Alphabet ditches idea to build Toronto smart city


Sidewalk Labs, an Alphabet-based company, has abandoned plans to build a smart city in Toronto. The decision was made due to economic uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Alphabet's Sidewalk Labs will not build its previously planned smart Internet city in a remote industrial area of Toronto, said Dan Doctoroff, Head of Sidewalk Labs.

He wrote on his blog that the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the real estate market made it impossible to continue the project. According to him, because of the "unprecedented" economic uncertainty, building a city on an area of 12 acres (48,500 sq. m.) has become too difficult.

Doctoroff added that the current health emergency makes us think harder about the importance of rethinking urbanization in the future. “I believe that the ideas that we have developed over the past two and a half years will be a significant contribution to solving major urban problems, especially in the field of accessibility and sustainability,” he added.

For several years, the initiative has been the focus of the company and could become an example for creating smart cities around the world, CNBC notes. In October 2017, Canadian authorities signed an agreement to create a neighborhood development plan with Sidewalk Labs. In June 2019, the company introduced a master plan for the development of the territory. By May 20, 2020, the Toronto authorities should have answered if they supported the continuation of work on the project.

It was planned that the city would use technology and a modern approach to the design of public spaces. Sidewalk Labs wanted the city to have 5G Internet and green energy technologies everywhere. In addition, it was assumed that a smart waste system would appear in the area that would be able to sort the garbage on its own.

source: cnbc.com