Sunday, 23 September, 2018

Alphabet Plans To Build a $1B High-Tech Neighborhood

Google's Sidewalk Labs is the preferred partner to build a high-tech neighbourhood in Toronto's east downtown waterfront Trudeau, Wynne, Tory to announce partner for tech-focused development on Toronto's waterfront
Andrew Cummings | 19 October, 2017, 00:49

Alphabet's Sidewalk Labs won a bid to partner with a redevelopment agency to create Sidewalk Toronto, a 12-acre mixed-use smart city neighborhood on part of an 800-acre project to redevelop the waterfront area.

The Quayside project represents Alphabet's bigger bet to showcase how modern tech and internet-connected infrastructure and buildings could improve urban life - an approach often termed the "smart-cities" development model.

At least 3.3 million square feet of residential, office and commercial space - including a new headquarters for Google Canada - could be developed, according to The Globe and Mail, and the district would be a "test bed" for the combination of technology and urbanism.

Naturally, the first company moving to Quayside will be Google, but the technology giant could soon be joined by Amazon, with Toronto among the cities vying to be the home of the company's second North American headquarters. "But I just look and I see startup after startup, decision after decision [her in the city]- including the one to partner with Sidewalk. and I see this as a huge opportunity in Toronto and for Canada as well".

Focusing on people-centered urban design, Sidewalk Toronto will create a district on the Eastern Waterfront where people can live, work and play.

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This will mark the biggest project tackled by Sidewalk Labs to date, according to Reuters, and the citizens of Toronto are here for it.

On Tuesday, project leaders, city officials, and Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau got together for a press event to kick off the project. 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.

Based in New York, Sidewalk Labs is owned by Google's parent company Alphabet Inc. Mayor John Tory said the project will also allow companies to address problems such as housing affordability and mobility issues.

"This has to be a community conversation or else it won't be able to achieve the potential nor will it ultimately gain political acceptability to do things that are hopefully quite bold", said Sidewalk Lab's Doctoroff. "It will also reflect the cultural diversity and openness of Toronto, and help connect all Torontonians to waterfront beaches, parks, and communities".

The entire process of the development of Quayside is still unclear, but planning will begin with a community town hall on November 1, 2017.

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