25 August 2015

Google's Sidewalk Labs: Using Technology to Improve Urban Life, Cities

"Sidewalk will focus on improving city life for everyone by developing and incubating urban technologies to address issues like cost of living, efficient transportation and energy usage."--Larry Page, Google
Google is now taking aim at fixing another major problem: city life. A new initiative, called Sidewalk Labs, will use technology and innovation in an effort to improve urban life at a time when the U.S. population is gravitating to cities, according to Google CEO Larry Page. Based in New York, it will be run by Dan Doctoroff, a former deputy mayor of New York City who will combine his experience in managing cities with funding from Google... [Larry Page] described Google's investment as "relatively modest." He did not disclose the amount, but compared Sidewalk Labs to Google X, Google's research lab, and Calico, a Google-funded company that is researching health and aging. "Making long-term, 10X bets like this is hard for most companies to do, but (Google co-founder) Sergey (Brin) and I have always believed that it's important," Page wrote. In a statement, Doctoroff said: "We are at the beginning of a historic transformation in cities. At a time when the concerns about urban equity, costs, health and the environment are intensifying, unprecedented technological change is going to enable cities to be more efficient, responsive, flexible and resilient." Read more at: Google launches Sidewalk Labs to fix cities (USA Today)

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