Google may be a leading tech provider but their thoughts on smart city design are addressing the key issues of housing and creating a very viable roadmap for urban design.

Downtown Toronto may soon get a brand new, smart city district compliments of Google.

Sidewalk Labs, the urban development arm of Google’s parent company Alphabet, recently announced it is in the early stages of plans to build a “large scale district” that will act as a testing ground for smart city technologies. Dan Doctoroff, founder and CEO of the company, made the announcement at the Smart Cities NYC conference on May 4, StateScoop reports.

The company is discussing with city officials a plan to build a city “from the internet up.”

Using IoT to Make City Limits Disappear

StateScoop reports that the goal of the smart city will be to address five intensifying issues plaguing urban living and development, including:

  • The rising cost of housing — Pre-made modular housing units could cut down construction costs by 30 percent.
  • Long commutes — A system that enables all modes of transit — ridesharing, public transit, driverless cars, walking and cycling — could reduce congestion.
  • Environmental sustainability — Implementing thermal transfer technologies could reduce costs and cut back on wasted energy.
  • Ubiquitous connectivity — A solid, high-speed connectivity infrastructure that provides online access to residents is necessary to enable the city’s technology aims and provide data-driven services.
  • Creating a new “public realm” — Introducing self-driving cars can help open up space for pedestrians and public parks, the types of spaces that define cities.
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