People have been talking and writing about smart cities of the future for more than a decade. Different authors imagine such cities in different ways. Nevertheless, so far all our cities are quite ordinary. Somewhere they are more advanced in terms of technology and logistics, somewhere less.
Now the parent company of Google - Alphabet Holding - has announced its intention to build the city of the future now. True, this is not about the whole village, but only about the area of the city, and the existing one. Alphabet, together with Sidewalk Labs, plans to build a smart area in Toronto from scratch. This, according to engineers, will be the most high-tech space on Earth. The project was named Sidewalk Toronto
For Alphabet / Google this is the first experiment of this kind. The project will be implemented in several stages. The first stage involves building about 12 hectares of territory with the prospect of increasing the area up to 323 hectares. The smart district will be located on the shores of Ontario. After the first phase of this project is completed, Google will transfer its Canadian office there.
What will be so clever in this place that cannot be found in other cities of the Earth? First, residents of this pilot area will be offered to abandon private cars. Instead, they will be offered robotic taxis and ordinary bicycles. In winter, bicycles can also be ridden thanks to heated tracks.
In addition, in this area, the project authors are going to locate new type of traffic lights, modular houses, robotic post offices and much more that is not available anywhere else.
There is a caveat that may not appeal too much to those who advocate the inviolability of personal data. So, in the smart area it is planned to place a huge number of sensors, sensors, cameras. These sensors will track almost all aspects of the life of the inhabitants - from the cost of water when bathing to tracking the level of noise and fullness of garbage containers. The project team vows to restrict access to private data of city residents.
The project itself is no longer just a theory. Its construction is a resolved issue; Alphabet and Sidewalk Labs plans were approved by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. At the presentation of this project, he said that he was considering the initiative as a test for new technologies that would provide an opportunity to build cleaner, greener and smarter cities. Companies that are implementing the project will need close cooperation with the government, since the creation of a new type of settlement will require a lot of changes in the legislative framework, including laws on construction, transport, energy, and much more.
Eric Schmidt, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Alphabet Holding, says that this project is not a random initiative. Rather, it is the result of thinking about how the city of the future can look and function. During the project, the company will test a large number of technologies that have not yet been tested in the field, outside the laboratory. If everything goes well, then it may well be that this project will be scaled, experience will be used when creating other smart settlements.
The project budget is about $ 1 billion. The amount will be allocated in parts, and $ 50 million has already been allocated for the implementation of the initial phase.