We went downtown on the bus, to remind ourselves that the future is far, far away, down bumpy roads. It’s open season on cyclists in Toronto, or we might have ridden our bikes.
Google’s Sidewalk Labs announced a $50,000,000 pilot project in downtown Toronto, to explore and experiment with ideas for building neighbourhoods “from the internet up”. You know … smart stuff, innovative stuff.
Today was the first of a series of public displays in the triangular intersection bounded by Lakeshore Boulevard Parliament Street and Small Street … at the eastern end of Queen’s Quay.
Understandably keen to avoid being taken for an Ugly American invader, Sidewalk CEO Dan Doctoroff entertained us with an opening statement that the company’s approach was “remarkably humble”. Not just humble, remarkably humble. He meant that the public could have a say, and nothing is set in concrete, so to speak.
If my tone sounds skeptical, I’m just having a bit of fun. In fact, I hope some good ideas about humane urban development do come out of the project. The small team of innovators seems motivated, energetic and enthusiastic. The attending public was generally young, interested and involved.
Most creative idea: The turned S, that turns invisible.