Document Type

Book Review


Canada received an early and important education in smart cities but has been slow to distill the lessons to be learned from it. The challenge lies in conducting an objective post-mortem of the collapse of Sidewalk Toronto, a joint venture between Alphabet subsidiary Sidewalk Labs and tri-level government entity Waterfront Toronto. The latter was originally established in 2001 to develop a site south of the Gardiner Expressway in Toronto. The site, known as Quayside, had languished in development hell for decades. Originally purposed as part of a possible bid by Toronto for the 2008 Summer Olympics, the site had continued to languish after the collapse of that bid. When Sidewalk Labs showed an interest in the site as a banner project for smart cities, Waterfront Toronto barely concealed its excitement (and eagerness to bypass regulatory hurdles) by entering a hastily conceived joint venture with the Alphabet affiliate.

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