Waterfront Toronto begins examining Sidewalk Labs’ $1.3 billion plan for a smart city

Waterfront Toronto has begun reviewing Sidewalk Labs’ proposal for its smart city in downtown Toronto, after it released its 1,524-page proposal earlier this week on Monday outlining its $1.3 billion CAD plan.

Stephen Diamond, the chairman at Waterfront Toronto board, acknowledged in an interview with BNN Bloomberg that the proposal was larger than anticipated.

“I think they were aware that we had concerns or that there should be some pushback, but I think they wanted the opportunity, and fairness to them, to debate what they felt was their vision,” Diamond told BNN Bloomberg.

He also stated that he believes some of what they are proposing is “going a bit too far.”

Diamond said that this does not mean that they shouldn’t take a look at it. He stated that the board needs to examine the implications the plans could pose to residents in Toronto. He says this is the case when anything new or innovative is proposed.

When asked about the data issues surrounding the proposal, he said that data privacy is not just an issue for Sidewalk Labs or for Waterfront Toronto, and that it is a global issue.

He said that the government will be looking at the data privacy issues as well, as the federal government is hinting towards initiatives.

Diamond said that the next step of the process is to hold public consultations. He said that the board hopes to address the issues by the end of the summer after hearing from the public and after a discussion with Sidewalk Labs.

Sidewalk Labs’ proposal included plans to integrate physical and digital policy innovations, such as the implementation of a commercial plot that would create 3,900 jobs.

The proposal also said it the company would implement “unprecedented” data privacy policies.

However, the proposal surprised critics as it outlined a plan that spanned further than the 12-acre plot that was originally agreed upon. Waterfront Toronto outlined its issues in a statement, saying that they would be to looking into the proposal deeply, as they were concerned with privacy and expansion issues.

Source: BNN Bloomberg