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Alphabet tries to salvage its smart city plans in Toronto

Published: June 25, 2019
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Source: cnn

<i>Facial Recognition Art Mural by <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/yowhathappenedtopeace/'>Yo What Happened To Peace</a> on <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/yowhathappenedtopeace/'>Flickr</a></i>
Facial Recognition Art Mural by Yo What Happened To Peace on Flickr

 

Google's parent company continues its attempts to sell Toronto on its controversial vision for a utopian city neighborhood.

Sidewalk Labs, the urban innovation company of Alphabet, released a 1,524-page reportMonday detailing plans to develop part of the Canadian city as a model neighborhood for the digital age.
 
Sidewalk Labs believes its innovations can make city living more desirable and affordable with less pollution, shorter commutes, better weather and environmentally-friendly buildings. It aims to start with 10 buildings and 2.7 million square feet of residential and commercial space and later expand to more of Toronto's waterfront.
 
The project has faced a backlash since its October 2017 announcement. Ontario's auditor general released a critical report in December describing a rushed process to select Sidewalk Labs to develop the prime waterfront real estate near the heart of Toronto. Several officials, including the head of Waterfront Toronto, the organization leading the process, have resigned.
 
Critics ranging from politicians to advocacy groups and private citizens have raised privacy questions about the data Sidewalk Labs will collect, and say the company hasn't provided enough answers. Intersections would be designed with sensors, tracking the movement of all people and vehicles. Sidewalk Labs says this will help move traffic swiftly and ensure walk signals leave added time for slow walkers, such as the elderly.

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