Vows: Toronto & Google

October 18, 2017

 

So Google, via Sidewalk Labs, will be creating a neighborhood in Toronto. This project is a key inflection point on the timeline of technology's effect on urbanism as well as a marker on where exactly the pendulum hangs between technology's  deification of data and humanist urbanism. A neighborhood with fantastic technological infrastructure could be amazing, but something tells me it could also just be a bland, poorly designed neighborhood with very forward-looking amenities. Or, worse, it could also be this generation's Pruitt-Igoe: the product of top-down designers being in love with their own ideas. If Sidewalk Labs are smart they'll bring in a partner who understands people and can marry Sidewalk Labs' engineering abilities with a way to breathe life into a brand new neighborhood.

 

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