Living in the future – technology as urban infrastructure

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192s2fks16vl9jpgGoogle announces the formation of Sidewalk Labs, whose goal is finding technological solutions to issues rising in urban living such as living expenses, transportation and energy usage. The company, which is stationed in New-York city, will be Headed by Dan Doctoroff, The Deputy Mayor of Economic Development and Rebuilding for the City of New York. The comination between Doctoroff, who brings experience in city planning and managing, and Google, which brings with it the technological side, will allow dealing with problems arising naturally in urban life from a new point of view. While the announcement did not mention exactly how the company is planning to change urban living, it did state it plans on building, buying and investing in new technologies to fulfill its intentions.

In the press conference release, Google CEO, Larry Page said: “By improving urban technology, it’s possible to significantly improve the lives of billions of people around the world. With Sidewalk, we want to supercharge existing efforts in areas such as housing, energy, transportation and government to solve real problems that city-dwellers face every day. Every time I talk with Dan I feel an amazing sense of opportunity because of his passion for all the ways technology can help transform cities to be more livable, flexible and vibrant. And when you combine that with his experience”, he added, “I can’t imagine a better person to lead these efforts.”

While there are apps reporting to people on traffic or apartments’ prices, the major challenges – traffic efficiency, lowering costs of living, reducing usage of energy and goverment efficiency – aren’t technology based. Also, major companies are looking to integrate themsevles into the existing city infrastructure, but Sidewalk will look to develop technologies that people can plug into themselves.