Alphabet plans to transform part of Toronto into a data-driven smart city

A subsidiary of Google parent Alphabet has unveiled long-awaited plans to transform part of Toronto into a data-driven smart city of the future. In the extensive blueprint released yesterday, Sidewalk Labs outlined what it hoped could become a model for urban redevelopment… The company is putting technology, such as cameras and sensors, at the heart of its proposals to radically modernise Toronto’s Quayside and Villiers West regions. Ideas to help make every day life more efficient include smart traffic lights that could measure how quickly pedestrians were crossing the road, and “dynamic curbs” that could widen or shrink depending on the time of day and how busy the roads were. To help reduce traffic and improve air quality, the company proposed creating an underground “logistics hub” and a network for subterranean deliveries. Sidewalk Labs also said it aimed to ensure all buildings were accessible via bike lanes or “cycle streets”, while heated pavement would make being outside in Toronto’s freezing winter more comfortable… Construction in the area, which currently has few residents, would be done using only timber, which would come from a new Ontario timber factory. The structures would be environmentally sustainable and faster to construct… while flexible wall panels would make renovations easier. 
Camilla Hodgson