As reported in the Toronto Star a federal-provincial-city agency overseeing Toronto’s Quayside 12 acre project site announced that Sidewalk Labs a sister company of Google has won a competition to build a new high-tech neighbourhood on that city’s east downtown waterfront. Once confirmed by the Waterfront Toronto board, “the choice of a firm owned by Google holding company Alphabet Inc. would be a big high-tech feather in the cap of the city currently chasing the second headquarters of Amazon and other innovation opportunities.”
Sidewalk Labs is committed to reimagine cities from the Internet up. The new Quayside neighbourhood will be “a testbed for cutting-edge technology as well as a bustling, functioning neighbourhood, with homes, offices, retail and cultural space, near Queens Quay East. and Parliament Street.”
As Alphabet’s urban innovation unit, Sidewalk Labs has been searching for a larger scale area to act as its “smart city test bed…The community would be universally connected by broadband and could have prefabricated modular housing, sensors to constantly monitor building performance, and robotic delivery services to cut residential storage space, The Architects’ Newspaper reported in May.”
The winning bid was to “foster sustainability, resiliency and urban innovation; complete communities with a range of housing types for families of all sizes and income levels; economic development and prosperity driving innovation that will be rolled out to the rest of the world; and partnership and investment ensuring a solid financial foundation that secures revenue and manages financial risk.” Toronto also perceives that Google’s presence in Toronto as well as the decision by Uber to make Toronto a driverless car research hub as the first step towards a massive technology boom that will shape the city.