Sidewalk Labs Stops SmartCity in Toronto

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Sidewalk Labs Stops SmartCity in Toronto

Since October 2017, Sidewalk Labs and Waterfront Toronto have been working on a shared vision for Quayside. Together they planned a more sustainable and affordable community that was supposed to profit from innovations in technology like SmartCity and urban design. Now Sidewalk Labs has decided that they will no longer pursue this project. The Corona-Pandemic has brought this lighthouse project to an unexpected stop.

Sidewalk Labs is Alphabet Inc.’s urban innovation organization. Google founded this organization with the goal of improving urban infrastructure through technological solutions and tackling issues such as cost of living, efficient transportation, and energy usage.

Sidewalk Labs opened a 30-person office on the waterfront. In a blog post, the companies CEO Daniel L. Doctoroff said:

But as unprecedented economic uncertainty has set in around the world and in the Toronto real estate market, it has become too difficult to make the 12-acre project financially viable without sacrificing core parts of the plan we had developed together with Waterfront Toronto to build a truly inclusive, sustainable community. And so, after a great deal of deliberation, we concluded that it no longer made sense to proceed with the Quayside project and let Waterfront Toronto know yesterday.

Waterfront Toronto commented on their website:

Waterfront Toronto has been informed that Sidewalk Labs is withdrawing from our planned redevelopment of Quayside on Toronto’s waterfront. While this is not the outcome we had hoped for, Waterfront Toronto offers thanks and appreciation to Sidewalk Labs for its vision, effort, and the many commitments that both the company and its employees have made to the future of Toronto. As Chair, I am proud of the work we have done and thankful for all of the hard work, talents and expertise staff at Waterfront Toronto have brought to this project. Our collective efforts have given cities around the world new pathways to creating affordable, inclusive and climate positive communities. Today is not the end of Quayside, but the first day of its future. Waterfront Toronto will continue to seek public and expert input as we make a next generation community at Quayside a reality.

Author: Tim Cole
Image Credit: Sidewalk Labs

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