Design Trend of the Month: Urban Innovation- Sidewalk Labs

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(Credit: Picture Plane for Heatherwick Studio)

In metropolitan cities like Toronto, challenges like longer commutes, higher rents and fewer opportunities are becoming an increasing issue. There is new technology being developed to help with these problems, but we can’t afford to wait for these digital advances to start transforming our urban environment. In efforts to accelerate innovation in urban areas, Sidewalk Labs is creating a futuristic development on Toronto’s East Waterfront to serve as an example of urban innovation for cities around the world.

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This new district aims to take on urban growth challenges in Toronto. Sidewalk labs is comprised of a partnership between the tri-government agency Waterfront Toronto and the surrounding community. A team of urbanists and technologists have joined forces, with the overarching goal of establishing Toronto as a global hub for urban innovation by creating new standards of sustainability, affordability, mobility and economic opportunity. This will be accomplished through the combination of urban designed centered around people, with cutting edge technology.

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(Credit: Picture Plane for Heatherwick Studio)

This new development will include the following beneficial features:

  1. A safer, more convenient, and cheaper transportation system including self-driving technology and digital navigation tools.
  2. More efficient and affordable housing and real estate through new construction methods and flexible, mixed use building designs.
  3. A new standard of sustainability, with infrastructure designed to dramatically reduce energy consumption, waste and carbon emissions.
  4. All-weather infrastructure to create a public realm that prioritizes public space and social connections, and is accessible year-round.
  5. An emphasis on community and improved public services through better data integration, improved accessibility and lower costs.
  6. An open digital infrastructure that inspires innovation that encourages creation and collaboration to address local challenges.
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(Credit: Snohetta)

In summary, Sidewalk Labs will provide an all-inclusive community that improves quality of life for a diverse population of residents, workers, and visitors, and provide advanced solutions to the main issues facing cities- transportation, energy efficiency, and housing affordability.

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(Credit: Picture Plane for Heatherwick Studio)

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(Credit: Snohetta)

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