Google exploring constructing their own city

A new Google city would allow the company to test ideas:

The boss of Sidewalk Labs, the firm’s New York City firm described as an ‘urban innovation’ company mentioned the idea at a summit hosted by The Information. 

‘Thinking about a city from the Internet up is really compelling,’ Sidewalk CEO Dan Doctoroff said at the event…

Later he added that building a new city could help test solutions to cybersecurity and privacy issues: ‘If you could create a place, it’d be a laboratory to experiment with these problems.’…

‘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,’ chief executive Larry Page said in a post at the Internet titan’s Google+ social network.

On the one hand, it would be difficult to test certain products – like a self-driving car – without having your own city that mimics real life.

On the other hand, I could see certain issues arising:

  1. If people lived in this city, what kind of rights would they have?
  2. For those who are already worried about the lack of public spaces in many big cities, what about a big city owned by a globally powerful corporation?
  3. Could such a model of corporations building cities offer benefits such that they become more attractive than what we have now where cities are theoretically for residents?

See an earlier post about Google planning its own city.

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