Trying to integrate new technology into existing cities can be painstaking, but what about in a city built for the future?
Alphabet, Google’s parent company, is hoping to “fix cities”, and has plans to eventually build its own tech utopia, a new report claims.
The Information reports that Sidewalk Labs, an Alphabet subsidiary, is trying to find a test location to create a “digital district”, to trial the idea of a smart city.
“Some 100 city planning experts, researchers, and technologists have been involved with the project,” writes The Information, “including Stuart Miller, the CEO of home builder Lennar, Anthony Townsend, research director of Institute of the Future, Standford professor Balaji Prabhaar, and Harvard economist Ed Glaeser. The consulting firm McKinsey has also been advising.”
It’s reported to be called “Project Sidewalk” internally, and is waiting to be given the go ahead by Alphabet CEO Larry Page “in the coming weeks”.
“If Mr. Page gives the green light, [Sidewalk Labs] could solicit bids from counties and states as soon as later this year,” the report reads.
Current cities said to be in the running for a trial district include Detroit and Denver.
Related: What is Alphabet?
According to the report, the “digital district” would be a “test-bed for new technologies from superfast internet to autonomous cars”.
Sidewalk Labs is described as Alphabet’s “urban innovation organization”. It is headed up by Daniel L. Doctoroff, the former deputy mayor of New York City.
Alphabet has made no official announcement regarding plans to build a futuristic city, so take these claims with due caution.
Would you live in a city built by Google? Let us know in the comments.