Building the Future - The "Smart City"


A new project from Sidewalk Labs, a subsidiary of the company Alphabet (a parent company of many companies, including Google), plans on creating a smart city that uses technology to improve the urban landscape. The integration of exciting technologies with urban planning offers some enticing luxuries that will better the quality of life for the citizens of this city, which Sidewalk Labs refers to as Quayside. Quayside will be located in Toronto, Canada, and construction could start as soon as next year. The developers of this city intend to include autonomous shuttle buses that will replace private cars and save families thousands of dollars along with robots that will move mail and garbage via underground tunnels. A unique aspect of Quayside is its adaptability to local needs, which will be perfected through data coming from the city itself.

This smart city will use data coming from its citizens to make decisions about infrastructure or improvements to the community. Everything from the amount of people living in a building to the usage of a public trash cans will be collected as data, which will transform the way city affairs are managed. This has raised some concerns about the privacy of the futurecitizens of the city, especially because Sidewalk Labs plans on sharing data with third parties. However, the company insists that data collection will be done in a way that respects the privacy of its citizens, and collecting data will serve the sole purpose of improving the community. Because this city may be the first of its kind, there is still a lot to learn about how the city will operate. Only time will tell if the city will be a success.
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