Alphabet to help develop Quayside into the world’s first smartcity with reduced carbon footprint

Quayside is an upcoming waterfront project in Toronto’s Lake Ontario which Alphabet is developing as a smart city.

Canada has contracted Alphabet Inc to plan a mixed-use development along Toronto’s Lake Ontario waterfront using smart urban design and cutting edge digital technologies.

As per Sidewalk Labs, a unit of Alphabet which develops new technologies for use in “smart cities” , it aims at investing $50 million in the initial planning and testing phase of the project which will result in the creation of a new neighborhood called Quayside.

“For the foreseeable future this will be the primary focus of what we do,” said Sidewalk Labs’ Chief Executive, Dan Doctoroff, in an interview.

One of the first projects, Sidewalk Labs will take on is managing crows on a nearby street which has a mix of motorised traffic, pedestrians and cyclists. Sidewalk Labs’ solution revolves around a sensor-based technology which Doctoroff said could be tested as early as the first quarter of 2018.

In the long term, Sidewalk Labs aims at integrating self-driving technology into the project.

Assuming that its initial testing is successful, Sidewalk Labs could then partner with public agency – Waterfront Toronto – to develop and manage an industrial waste site located nearby.

Doctoroff said the company had looked at more than 50 metropolitan areas in North America, Australia and in western Europe before choosing Toronto as its prime location for its future city test bed.

Google disclosed that it would move its Canadian headquarters and nearly 300 employees to the district once the project is completed.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who announced the partnership with Google, hopes that the project would become “a thriving hub for innovation and a community for tens of thousands of people to live, work and play.”

This project is Sidewalk Labs’ most ambitious project to date. Upon completion the project expects to house 5,000 people and host another 5,000 workers within three to four years.

Incidentally, the company has earlier worked with Civiq Smartscapes and Qualcomm Inc to retrofit New York City phone booths into digital billboards that serve as WiFi hotspots.

Sidewalk Labs’ subsidiary, Intersection, has recently launched similar kiosks in London.

Similarly, Flow, another division, has had talks with city officials from Columbus, Ohio, on providing software to evaluate transit programs.

On completion, Doctoroff expects the project to lower the cost of living in Quayside, including reducing commutes and reduce its carbon footprint.

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