Prop Tech

Is the world ready for its first ‘Smart City’?

Gabrielle Pickard
Written by Gabrielle Pickard

Move over smart homes as a fully-fledged smart city could be in the pipeline. And who else to be driving the concept of a smart city than internet giants, Google?

Alphabet, a unit of Google, has its eyes set on Toronto in Canada as the location for the world’s first digital city. The ‘Smart City’ vision would comprise of a city built ‘from the internet up’. The digital city would provide an urbanisation that tested swathes of ‘smart’ features, including self-driving cars and more efficient ways of delivering electricity and water.

According to a report in Business Insider, Sidewalk Labs, a division of Google’s Alphabet, is currently completing a series of proposals to construct new housing, retail and office districts within existing cities. This is part of an initiative by Alphabet, to purchase large amounts of land in various cities struggling financially, to created futuristic, high-tech municipalities within cities that are in decline.

Suggestions have been made that Google had its eyes set on Detroit as being the location of a smart city, as, due to a decline in domestic manufacturing, Detroit has been economically deteriorating in recent times.

Though plans are reported to be being made to create a new ‘Smart City’ in Toronto, which despite being a predominantly thriving city, does have areas of decline. The smart city would be autonomous of current city and building regulations, so the digital city could be built without constraint.

Talking in New York earlier this year, Dan Doctoroff, Sidewalk’s CEO, who worked as deputy mayor of economic development for New York City, spoke of Google’s technological innovation and his own knowledge of urbanisation development, would make the perfect combination to build a smart city.

“That is why the combination of Google, which focuses on the technology, and, me, who focuses on quality of life, urbanity, etc., we think is a relatively unique combination,” said Doctoroff.

Like a smart home, a smart city would be built around a connectivity focus. The architecture and planning of the town would be centred on a robust digital infrastructure. Shops, offices and houses would all be built around lifestyles and generating connectivity to enhance convenience and ease of living.

What are your thoughts on a fully-fledge ‘Smart City’? Technology taken too far? Or, “Let’s book a flight to Toronto, I want to move to the world’s first Smart City?” We’d love to hear our readers’ thoughts.

About the author

Gabrielle Pickard

Gabrielle Pickard

Gabrielle brings more than a decade’s writing and editing experience, having been creating and editing high quality content for a wide range of publications in the property sector, reporting about the latest trends, news and developments in this fast-paced industry that doesn’t stand still for a second.

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