Coronavirus: Google ends plans for smart city in Toronto

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Discussion posted by: David McNamara

Google’s sister firm Sidewalk Labs has scrapped a plan to build a smart city in Canada, citing complications caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. For several years it had pursued ambitions to build a digital-first city in Toronto “from the internet up”. Chief executive Dan Doctoroff blamed “unprecedented economic uncertainty” for abandoning the plan. The project had proved controversial and Sidewalk Labs had already been forced to scale back its ambitions. In a blog post, Mr Doctoroff said: “As unprecedented economic uncertainty has set in around the world, and in the Toronto real estate market, it has become too difficult to make the 12-acre project financially viable without sacrificing core parts of the plan we had developed together with Waterfront Toronto to build a truly inclusive, sustainable community.