Google is Building a City
Google and Sidewalk Labs, subsidiaries of Alphabet, are beginning work on the next big innovation of the twenty-first century: the development of an entire high-tech city.
The project is beginning with only 12 acres of waterfront property in Toronto, Canada. At present, the area houses a few industrial buildings, but Google hopes to see the community that will be called Quayside explode into an 800-acre metropolis.
Residents of Quayside will be monitored by seemingly omnipresent sensors and cameras that mange noise, traffic flow, air quality, energy usage, waste, and even public engagement.
Although this might seem like 1984’s Big Brother, the tech giant assures that these sensors and cameras will work to create a technological utopia of sorts. They will allow city planners to identify community preferences such as whether or not the public is pleased with the placement of a particular store or if a certain park bench is in the most convenient place or if residents are taking advantage of flu shots.
Google and other tech companies have indicated that if Quayside is a success, it could reveal the inevitable future of world cities. Industry leaders foresee a society in which cars run independently, everything is automated, houses are 3D-printed, and skyscrapers are assembled in days.