Alphabet-Owned Company Reveals Smart City Plans

Indira Datta - Jul 14, 2019

Alphabet-Owned Company Reveals Smart City Plans

Alphabet-owned Sidewalk Labs just released a 1,524-page document outlining its plans for a $1.3 billion 190 acre smart neighborhood in Toronto, Canada.

Sidewalk Labs, owned by Alphabet, has released a huge document with 1,524 pages about ít plan to build a 190-acre smart neighborhood in Toronto, Canada, which is estimated to be worth $1.3 billion.

Alphabet's Sidewalk Labs revealed a plan to build a smart city in Toronto.
Alphabet's Sidewalk Labs revealed its plans to build a smart city in Toronto.

Sidewalk Labs's aim is to transform this place into what it called an "affordable, inclusive community." According to the company's official website, the city will have smart technology with digital services to increase the quality of people's lives. While the kind of data that will be collected hasn't been outlined by the company because of the plans' vague working, many critics have already raised their concerns about security and data privacy.

The $1.3 billion investment will be used to build the first necessary facilities, including a high timber plant which will supply wood construction materials for the first houses of this city. Besides, "optional credit financing" is also included to speed up the construction of railroads connecting to the riverbank.

Nearly 50% of houses will be for lease and 40% of that will have a lower price than the market price.

According to a Toronto Star report, the company promises that these plans for a smart city will create around 44,000 jobs and generate billions of annual tax revenue that will help increase Canada's GDP.

But the plans of Sidewalk Labs also received a lot of contrary opinions. A lot of people has been questioning the data that the company will collect from its residents. Who will keep that data? Will it affect their privacy?

People are concerned about security in the smart city of Sidewalk Labs.
People are concerned about security in the smart city of Sidewalk Labs.

In a public letter on Monday by Stephen Diamond, chairman of Waterfront Toronto, said his team did not co-create the plan, but it will be their responsibility to approve it. Accordingly, Waterfront Toronto and Sidewalk Labs have very different views on what is needed to make this plan successful. He said the project with 190 acres were completely different from the initial 12-acres project that Sidewalk Labs proposed, calling it "premature.

Moreover, critics are also worried about the lack of public transport to reach the area, which is a "prior-to-development" requirement from Waterfront Toronto.


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