How Google's Sidewalk Labs has outmaneuvered Toronto in its bid to build a "smart city"

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Are you kidding, that’s plenty of room to both live AND work for Google!

You’re welcome, citizen, for finally making your pointless, innefficient life a part of something worthwhile!

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Single people also count as families, and also full citizens.

This seems a silly thing to pick on. Dunno the mix but it does say “starting at”, and single people aren’t chopped liver.

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only service guarantees citizenship


Is that pronounced “keyside”?

This reeks of the “Silicon Valley knows best” attitude, as if they magically know how to best regulate a City. I call shenanigans!

Let’s hope the Provincial and Federal government won’t give them a pass on Building Codes and Fire Codes, although I doubt their insurer would, and being self-insured would be too risky for Google.


Well, to be fair, there’s a lot to like about Sidewalk Labs vision for inclusive sustainable cities, and the only deal the city of Toronto has made with them at the moment is for a 1-year exploratory phase. But yes, there’s a lot to be worried about too. If anyone’s interested, we’re running a workshop (“walkshop”) in Toronto in May that will include a walkthrough of the site of the proposed development, and chance for critical conversations both about Sidewalk’s plans, and the broader question of whether this is a sensible deal for the city and for Canada:

(edited to say the organizers of the workshop aren’t associated in any way with Sidewalk Labs!)



The trunk on my '67 Impala Ragtop has about that much square footage. I’m gonna make it a mobile Airbnb. Discount if you guys mention you saw it on BoingBoing


It will all end in tears, I know it.

Little does Google know that that’s where Toronto will put Amazon’s 2nd headquarters.

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From the article: “… Dan Doctoroff, Sidewalk Labs’ CEO…” This is a lead-up to the ultimate Doctorow vs Doctoroff match-up. Winner gets the sidewalk.

But seriously, both the city and google seem to want this proposal and deal to be covered as little as possible, and they have gotten their way so far. The only local discussion was about privacy, and that got very minimal coverage. This linked article is a good start to this discussion, even though it’s a late start.

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Yeah, that’s not a bad look, at all.


Sidewalk is going to redevelop a mostly abandoned and inaccessible plot of land (half of it is a parking lot) to experiment with building better cities. Worst case the project fails and you end up with a bunch of new small apartments great for students, singles, and people who just don’t care about space.

What’s the concern exactly?

Who are cities for, and who gets to decide how they grow? Sidewalk Labs hopes the answer is technology companies.

What an idiotic take. It is always citizens who choose how a city develops. Somebody has to live there, and work there. If people don’t like it, the owner will go bankrupt.

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