Author | Patricia M. LicerasFar from sticking to the Internet, the omnipresent Google is diversifying its activity by designing autonomous vehicles and conducting research on human health and longevity. Its activities have transformed it into a mega-corporation with different needs to those of practically any other large enterprise, which is why it is now immersed in the design and construction of cities.Alphabet, an umbrella company that includes both Google and other associated firms, is creating the first smart city in the world in Toronto (Canada).Specifically, it is doing so along its coastal district, a totally de-urbanised area covering 4.8 hectares and which, years ago, was a major industrial port.The truth is that Google’s idea is not new. The major attempts to create smart cities in North America date back to the 60s, when Walt Disney dreamt of the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow (EPCOT), a city of the future in Florida based on technology.This plan to create a leading model of urban life for the 21st century developed by Sidewalk Labs, Google’s subsidiary, seeks to provide technological solutions to improve the life of citizens and it includes two key areas. On the one hand, Quayside, along the Lake Ontario shoreline, which will accommodate houses, shops and offices and will house around 4,500 inhabitants, who will be able to access the estimated 3,900 jobs that will be created. Google will obviously be the first to open offices there. According to Alphabet’s estimates, the Quayside district will be completed by 2022, with the possibility of receiving the first inhabitants by the end of that same year. Then there is the river area, where five residential colonies are to be built.
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