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Self driving taxi-bots, underground garbage collection, modular homes that can be built on top of each other, sidewalks that learn your habits and adjust accordingly, and temperature controlled pedestrian walkways are just some of the proposed ideas for the world’s first smart city within a city.
Sidewalk Labs, a subsidiary of Google Inc. has brought forth a compelling proposal to re-develop the Queensquay lands just east of Jarvis into something the world has never seen before. Here are just a few of the proposed ideas:
1. Self driving taxi bots and busses
2. Underground robots that collect and recycle consumer waste without you ever feeling their presence
3. Modular homes that can be built on top of each other (imagine adding a lego piece to an existing tower)
4. Weather mitigation zones that block high winds, cold or extremely high temperatures.
5. Venice style canals with homes built in-between them, with digital canoe rentals
6. Lots and lots of sensors that will record, analyze and make use of traffic, temperature, and personal information.
The last bit has great implications for privacy, as increased contentedness and data-collection often comes at the cost of personal privacy. Sidewalk labs has issued a statement regarding their vision for how privacy will be handled in Toronto’s new digital city.