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This Is What Google’s First ‘Smart City’ Will Look Like

February 21, 2019, 8:42 PM UTC

Inside Alphabet, Google’s parent company, is a group called Sidewalk Labs, an initiative inside the company that “imagines, designs, tests, and builds urban innovations to help cities meet their biggest challenges.”

Building exterior. Picture Plane for Heatherwick Studio

In 2017, the group announced plans to build its first connected “city,” a neighborhood called Quayside on the waterfront on Toronto, Canada, and now we have a better idea of what that city might look like.

The plans were developed alongside architecture studios Snøhetta and Heatherwick Studio, Fast Company reports. Renderings on those non-final plans were released this week.

Courtyard Picture Plane for Heatherwick Studio
Picture Plane for Heatherwick Studio

As for what it looks like, Sidewalk Labs will be a dozen towers in the neighborhood which will include 3,000 units for housing, a third of which are designated “affordable.” All of the city’s buildings will be modular, so they can adapt as needed and the town will be run on solar power, geothermal heat and have 5G internet for everyone. Underneath the city a series of tunnels will accommodate delivery drivers and garbage trucks, all operated by robots rather than humans.

Building Interior

The goal is also to offer things like heated sidewalks that will melt ice during cold weather and “raincoats” for buildings, clear tarps that will cover public areas and make them accessible even in a downpour.

And it’s only just the beginning. The city is not expected to be ready for residents for at least another five or six years.