Alphabet, the parent company of Google and Sidewalk Labs, is planning on building a smart city in Toronto as early as 2023. The city will be on Toronto’s waterfront and has faced numerous challenges from the public.
The city will breathe life into Internet marketing in Toronto, with Google eventually planning to build an office in the city.
A new timeline for the city was announced on Wednesday at the Collision Conference in Toronto. Sidewalk Labs is still waiting on approvals and claims that residents may be able to move into the city as early as 2023 if approvals are given this year.
Previous projections had residents moving in as early as 2022, but public challenges have led to a delay in the city’s building.
Sidewalk Labs has been under scrutiny, as residents and officials question the amount of public land that will be given to the company. Privacy concerns have also been raised, as Sidewalk Labs would be able to collect massive amounts of data in the city.
Sidewalk Labs is proposing that an independent, government-sanctioned trust be formed that will have oversight for data collection. The public remains concerned that the city will collect personal data that the public cannot control.
The project hopes to open a set of buildings at once, with the first buildings being available in 2023 or early 2024, pending approval. Proposals are to be sent to multiple levels of government in June, with expectations that negotiations will take several months to complete.
Google plans to move in once the project has matured, moving their Canadian headquarters to the new city’s waterfront. The move will attract new jobs in the area and will likely bring other major companies to the city.
Google’s presence will be a catalyst for economic development in the area.
Toronto’s startup scene is also booming, with many small startups thriving in the city. Google’s presence would allow the company to oversee many of these startups, which the company has been known to acquire.
Smart cities have been proposed as a new, innovative way to bring together technology and infrastructure to improve the quality of life for residents. The Internet of Things (IoT) could allow for smart technology movement, allowing objects and entities to communicate with one another through the city.
Public transportation, energy consumption data and even traffic reports could be provided for the city in real-time. Barcelona has already adopted some smart technologies to help revamp their city.