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Would you let Google run your city?

Google promised to create the neighbourhood of the future in Toronto. Then residents rebelled

By Martin Moore   March 2019

What happens if we let tech companies design our cities? Photo: © SIDEWALK LABS, HUFTON + CROW

On 17th October 2017, Eric Schmidt joined Justin Trudeau, the Canadian prime minister, and John Tory, the mayor of Toronto, on stage in Corus Quay on the city’s waterfront. Schmidt, then executive chairman of Alphabet (Google’s parent company), was there to announce a new partnership between Toronto, the Canadian government and Google’s sister company Sidewalk Labs to redevelop a 12-acre plot called Quayside, with a view to extending it by a further…

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