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Ideas for Sidewalk Labs' Smart City Include Building Raincoats and Heated Paving System

Weather plays a big factor in the "smart cities" technology experiments in development by Sidewalk Labs for its Toronto pilot project.
March 11, 2019, 11am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Jacques Gallant reports on a recent Sidewalk Labs open house where the beleaguered company demonstrated some of its ideas for its "smart city" pilot in the Quayside neighborhood on the waterfront in Toronto.

"Sidewalk, backed by Google parent company Alphabet Inc., was showing off projects for the planned Quayside district, a test zone for urban tech on a 12-acre piece of land where Queens Quay E. meets Lake Shore Blvd.," according to Gallant.

"The projects included a 'building raincoat' — described as an adjustable plastic film awning attached to a building that can extend to protect the sidewalk from the elements. Another is a hexagonal paving system, including heated slabs to melt the snow and reduce the need for plowing and salting," reports Gallant.

The demonstration was effective in winning over at least some members of the public who attended the open house, as the project faces a spate of recent criticism.

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