WeWork's Real Estate Arm Launches 'Future Cities' Initiative

Another buzzy tech company with roots in the real estate market has designs on the "smart cities" revolution.
April 12, 2019, 12pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"The company behind the WeWork real-estate empire is starting a 'future cities' initiative and has hired former Waze and Google executive Di-Ann Eisnor to run it," reports Simone Stolzoff.

"According to the We Company, Eisnor and [a] team of engineers, architects, data scientists, biologists, and economists will create products and partner with local groups around the world to help address problems spurred by globalization, urbanization, and climate change," according to Stolzoff.

According to the article, the goals and potential outcomes of the project, as announced, remain a bit abstract. However, "[t]he move to launch a smart cities program, though, is in line with one of the company’s non-spiritual missions: to compile the world’s largest data set on how people work and live." That goal is reminiscent of Facebook's ongoing mission to map the entire world's built environment to measure population density using artificial intelligence.

WeWork's foray into the "smart" or "future" cities realm also follows in the footsteps of Sidewalk Labs, a company owned by Google parent company Alphabet, which has been granted an entire neighborhood in Toronto, and potentially more, to treat as a "smart city" experiment.

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