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Sidewalk Toronto is a joint effort by Waterfront Toronto and Alphabet's Sidewalk Labs to create a new kind of mixed-use, complete community on Toronto's Eastern Waterfront, beginning with the creation of Quayside, a 12-acre former industrial site at Queens Quay E. and Parliament St.

Waterfront Toronto’s eagerness to sign a deal with a Google sister company has alarmed experts who warn cities are easy prey for Big Tech and its unquenchable thirst for data.

“Google isn’t going to be creating these urban innovations for the public good or the common welfare,” says Jathan Sadowski, a postdoctoral research fellow in Smart Cities at the University of Sydney in Australia.

“They’ll be doing things — as we should expect them to — that will benefit their own interests as a private company, as one of the most profitable, most wealthy companies in the world.

Source: Toronto Star

Date: March 27th, 2018

Link: https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2018/03/02/the-risks-of-becoming-a-google-city.html

Discussion

1) “Manhattan-based Sidewalk Labs says it wants to build “the first truly 21st-century city,” developing and piloting revolutionary technologies for urban living.”  How could Toronto sensibly work with Sidewalk Labs?

2) What are some of the risks of cities working with for-profit companies?

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