Navigating the Innovation Gap: Sidewalk Labs

July 13, 2017 Sara Audisho

“Longer commutes. Higher rents. Fewer opportunities. The problems facing cities are growing worse.”

Sound familiar? You don’t have to be a city dweller to know our metropolises are becoming more difficult to live in – financially and physically. Sidewalk Labs, an Alphabet company, is “reimagining cities from the internet up.” 

According to them, no city is currently in good shape for the urban future. Their solution? Build an innovation lab in each city that acts as a testing ground for potential solutions to the existing and impending urban challenges.

The labs would take form as districts in which teams of urbanists and technologists work together to tackle the given city’s most pressing issues: expensive construction, inflexible and archaic buildings, healthcare system inefficiencies, outdated transportation systems, and so forth.

What’s encouraging about Sidewalk Labs is its sole focus on long-term sustainable solutions. As part of this effort, the company’s goal is to ensure that its labs eventually develop into independent companies. These companies would continue to develop products and services for cities.

We’ve summarized the most important stuff, but we think you should have a look for yourself.

And if you’re in Toronto, keep an eye out, because Sidewalk Labs is looking at us next.

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