Spotlight on Sidewalk Toronto
Planning a precedent-setting smart community.
An underdeveloped area near downtown Toronto may become one of Canada’s most innovative planned neighbourhoods. The revitalization of the city’s Eastern Waterfront district will begin with Quayside, a 12-acre complete community that incorporates “smart city” infrastructure and systems. It will have driverless shuttle buses, smart traffic lights, automated waste services, and modular buildings – at least, that’s the vision.
Waterfront Toronto, a government agency tasked with revitalizing the city’s waterfront, has teamed up with Sidewalk Labs, an urban innovation organization, to rethink the district. The project, which was officially launched last fall, is currently undergoing an extensive public consultation process and will reveal a full draft plan in October 2018.
This video helps to explain the thinking behind the project and the benefits it may provide:
The vision for Toronto’s revitalized waterfront district includes:
- A transportation network with self-driving transit, digital navigation tools, and cycling/pedestrian access.
- Sustainably designed infrastructure that manages energy consumption, waste, and carbon emissions.
- Vibrant parks and public spaces with all-weather infrastructure and data-driven management tools.
- Better access to social and community services.
- Digital infrastructure that enables connectivity and provides data about how urban environments are used and insight into solving future problems.
This “community of the future” fits perfectly with the principles behind smart cities, but it’s still in the planning stage. Calgary is already home to an eco-community, but could a smart community like Quayside be a good fit for our city?