Building Cities from the Internet Up

It was only a matter of time.

Stefon Walters


July 1, 2019

Sidewalk Labs, Google's sister company (meaning they share the same parent company — Alphabet), finally unveiled their $900 million plan after winning a bid to renovate an empty waterfront district in Toronto.

Here are a few specs the neighborhood will consist of:

  • The sidewalks and bike paths will be heated. They'll be connected to a real-time weather forecast and come on a few hours prior to snowstorms. They'll also get warm enough to melt snow and automatically shut off when the pavement is dry.

  • All deliveries will happen underground using a tunnel system and electric-powered drone vehicles. Apparently, that'll cut truck traffic down by 72%.

  • Instead of steel and concrete, the buildings will be built using mass timber. Which is apparently just as fire-resistant as steel and concrete, but much better for the environment.

  • The buildings will have built-in awnings that will automatically come out every time it rains or snows.

Sidewalk Labs plans to invest $1 billion in housing — 20% for affordable (which is always relative), 20% middle-ish class, and 60% expensive as hell.

As you can imagine, the company will be able to collect a lot of data on people. Like...a whole lot. They swear they won't share any info with Google or sell any of it (they all say that), they'll use it strictly for development and research purposes. Yeah...okay...

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