Author Topic: Google Is Building a City of the Future in Toronto.  (Read 183 times)

Mackin USA

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Google Is Building a City of the Future in Toronto.
« on: July 02, 2018, 11:41:20 AM »
The idea is to reimagine Toronto’s derelict waterfront as “the world’s first neighborhood built from the internet up,” as Sidewalk describes it. The neighborhood, called Quayside, would leapfrog the usual slow walk of gentrification to build an entire zone, all at once, as a “smart city,” a sensor-enabled, highly wired metropolis that can run itself.
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aaron

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Re: Google Is Building a City of the Future in Toronto.
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2018, 05:04:08 PM »
TheInformation had some articles about Google's smart city stuff. They mentioned how Larry Page had retrograde urban planning ideas like throwing a set of wheels on houses.
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Mr. Page, who has long been interested in flying cars, pushed for a mix of proposals for the Sidewalk project that were futuristic technologically, along with ideas that Sidewalk leaders considered retrograde from an urban-planning perspective. His suggestions included restricting heights for buildings and developing houses that could move on wheels, the people said.
It also mentioned how Google sees themselves as a new-age rentier class on that Toronto project:
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In Toronto, executives at Sidewalk Labs see potential in making money off rising real estate values if they own buildings or land inside the development, people familiar with their thinking said.

https://techcrunch.com/2017/10/17/alphabets-sidewalk-labs-to-turn-toronto-area-into-a-model-smart-city/

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/02/googles-guinea-pig-city/552932/
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The document emphasizes affordable housing and a diversity of planned neighborhoods. But the reconfigurable buildings Sidewalk proposes are structured in a way that seems to preclude long-term, individual ownership of an apartment or a storefront. Residential and commercial spaces appear to be designed for brief, transitional tenancies
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Instead of asking if this specific plan has promise, it might be better to pose more general questions: Who are cities for, and who gets to decide how they grow? Sidewalk Labs hopes the answer is technology companies. This in turn stifled innovation, making the internet less interesting and dynamic. Centralization has also created broader societal tensions, which we see in the debates over subjects like fake news, state sponsored bots, “no platforming” of users, EU privacy laws, and algorithmic biases.
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Centralized platforms follow a predictable life cycle. When they start out, they do everything they can to recruit users and 3rd-party complements like developers, businesses, and media organizations. They do this to make their services more valuable, as platforms (by definition) are systems with multi-sided network effects. As platforms move up the adoption S-curve, their power over users and 3rd parties steadily grows. When they hit the top of the S-curve, their relationships with network participants change from positive-sum to zero-sum. The easiest way to continue growing lies in extracting data from users and competing with complements over audiences and profits.
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For 3rd parties, this transition from cooperation to competition feels like a bait-and-switch. Over time, the best entrepreneurs, developers, and investors have become wary of building on top of centralized platforms. We now have decades of evidence that doing so will end in disappointment.

https://medium.com/sidewalk-talk/announcing-coord-the-integration-platform-for-mobility-providers-navigation-tools-and-urban-d0cd32d8526b
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By serving as the coordination layer for new mobility services, navigation tools, and urban infrastructure, Coord can help unlock a seamless trip experience for people in cities and inspire new solutions to urban mobility challenges.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/from-disruption-to-dystopia-silicon-valley-envisions-the-city-of-the-future
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Google is entering the “smart city” business in no small part to develop high-tech dormitories for youthful tech workers and the cheaper foreign noncitizen workers in the U.S., including H1B indentured servants
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Mark Zuckerberg, even as he fought to expand his own sprawling suburban homestead, envisions his employees living in crowded dormitories close to work, including a planned 1,500-unit apartment development near Facebook’s Menlo Park campus. Zuckerberg, like most oligarchs, prefers workers unengaged with the mundanities of family life.
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When a city manager suggests that changes are dictated by data collected by the smart city operators, rather than popular sentiment, democracy itself has been unplugged.

"We started thinking about all the things we could do if someone would just give us a city and put us in charge" said Eric Schmidt