Google’S Sidewalk Labs Is Building A Building Factory In Toronto

When Google’s sister company, Sidewalk Labs, “Released” its leaked master plan for the Toronto quayside development it was met with mixed reviews. For those staunchly against increased corporate involvement in public spaces and urban planning, and for those who adore anything Google does, minds were already made up before the plans emerged. Most people kind-of like Google, or at least their services, but have some concern over corporate responsibility towards the environment and the rights of the average citizen. This concerned majority found a masterplan drawn in the nostalgia-inducing style of an old children’s book depicting natural-looking wooden skyscrapers, open pedestrianized areas that adapt to weather conditions, they can also find all manner of fun activities and general frolicking when scanning the images like a Where’s Wally book. Google’s marketing engine was in top gear as it shows a crowd gathered on the waterfront watching a performer on a floating stage, next to a water volleyball match, a dragon boat team, and what must be a 100-foot projection of the “Moonshot” image from the vintage 1902 movie: A Trip to the Moon. Google, through Sidewalk Labs, is entering the urban development space where it will have to find a new approach to entice customers and stakeholders, now called tenants, residents, and citizens. Hence the charm offensive which, based on the numerous visual references, is targeted at the tech-savvy, environment and health conscious, active young professionals that it hopes will live and work in the new neighborhood.

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