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Sidewalk Labs

Sidewalk Labs
Subsidiary of Alphabet
IndustryUrban planning, infrastructure
FoundedJune 10, 2015; 3 years ago (2015-06-10)
HeadquartersNew York, NY
Key people
Dan Doctoroff (Chairman & CEO)
Rohit Aggarwala
Craig Nevill-Manning (CTO)
ParentAlphabet Inc. (2015–present)

Sidewalk Labs is Alphabet Inc.'s urban innovation organization. Its goal is to improve urban infrastructure through technological solutions, and tackle issues such as cost of living, efficient transportation and energy usage.[1][2]

It is headed by Daniel L. Doctoroff, former deputy mayor of New York City for economic development and former chief executive of Bloomberg L.P.[3] Other members include Craig Nevill-Manning, co-founder of Google's New York office and inventor of Froogle.[4]


Project Sidewalk and Sidewalk Toronto

In April 2016, The Information reported that Sidewalk plans to create a new city in the United States to test design ideas prior to real world implementation.[5] Sidewalk has not confirmed that report but has said it's engaged in thought experiments about what it could be like to develop a community "from the internet up."[6]

In October 2017, it was announced that Sidewalk Labs would develop Quayside, a 4.9 hectares (12 acres) site in Toronto's East Bayfront neighbourhood. This occurred in response to a competition organized by Waterfront Toronto, and the resulting vision is referred to as Sidewalk Toronto. Sidewalk Toronto is envisioned to be "a testbed for emerging technologies, materials and processes" to tackle issues such as the sustainability, accessibility, inclusiveness and prosperity of urban communities.[7][8] The initiative is also envisioned to be scaled up across Toronto's Port Lands, a 325 hectares (800 acres) area that is one of the largest areas of underdeveloped urban land in North America.[9]


Sidewalk is also working with the U.S. Department of Transportation to assess road data gathered from smartphones to analyze congestion and other traffic conditions, and develop a transportation coordination platform to improve the efficiency of road, parking, and transit use.[2][10]


Sidewalk Labs invests in and incubates companies to develop tools that can support Sidewalk Toronto and scale to other cities around the world.[11]

Intersection and Link

In June 2015, Sidewalk Labs led a consortium of investors in the acquisition of Control Group and Titan forming a new company called Intersection.[12] Intersection works in cities and public spaces to offer people connectivity, information, and content, and offer brands advertising rooted in real-world context.[13]

Intersection's first product is LinkNYC, which is turning 7,500 old public pay phones into kiosks delivering free gigabit Wi-Fi, video and voice calling, and access to emergency and other city services across New York City. Intersection is exploring bringing Link to other cities.[14] In October 2016, Intersection collaborated with British internet provider BT and advertising agency Primesight to install links in London.[15]


  1. ^ "Sidewalk Labs" Seeks to Improve City Life
  2. ^ a b Alphabet Inc Subsidiary Sidewalk Labs Hints at Development Plans for a New City
  3. ^ Lohr, Steve (2015-06-10). "Sidewalk Labs, a Start-Up Created by Google, Has Bold Aims to Improve City Living". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-01-10.
  4. ^ "Sidewalk Labs, Google's Company for Cities, Builds Its Inaugural Executive Team". Re/code. Retrieved 2016-04-22.
  5. ^ Lessin, Jessica (14 April 2016). "Alphabet's Sidewalk Preps Proposal for Digital District". The Information. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
  6. ^ Williams, Jake (4 May 2017). "Google wants to build a city". Statescoop. Retrieved 5 May 2017.
  7. ^ Rider, David (4 October 2017). "Google firm poised to partner on Toronto high-tech neighbourhood". Toronto Star. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  8. ^ "Waterfront Toronto Takes First Step in Building Quayside: A New Community That Will Provide Testbed for Solutions to Pressing Urban Challenges". Waterfront Toronto. 17 March 2017. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  9. ^ "Sidewalk Toronto". Sidewalk Toronto. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  10. ^ Sidewalk Labs - Flow
  11. ^ Sidewalk Labs official site
  12. ^ D'Onfro, Jillian. "Google is funding a plan to bring free Wi-Fi to NYC". Business Insider. Retrieved 2018-02-05.
  13. ^ Intersection - About Us
  14. ^ Sidewalk Labs - Link NYC
  15. ^ Lunden, Ingrid. "LinkNYC's free WiFi and phone kiosks hit London as LinkUK, in partnership with BT". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2016-12-25.