A unit of Google’s parent company, devoted to urban innovation, has signed a deal to map out a new kind of neighbourhood on Toronto’s waterfront that could demonstrate how data-driven technology can improve the quality of city life. On Tuesday, Sidewalk Labs, a division of Alphabet Inc., and the government agency Waterfront Toronto announced a partnership in which Sidewalk initially will invest $50-million (U.S.) in a year-long planning process for Quayside, a 12-acre district on the waterfront, and the company has signalled its intentions to pursue a much larger area. This is the first such project for Alphabet, and for Sidewalk Labs.
Source: Toronto Globe and Mail
Date: December 21st, 2017
1) Why is Google involved in projects like this? How does it benefit?
2) Does it make sense for cities to partner with tech companies on infrastructure projects?