You will soon be able to get a glimpse into the potential future of Sidewalk Toronto, a smart waterfront neighbourhood in development by Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs.
Sidewalk Labs recently hosted the opening event for 307, their experimental workspace where they are working on prototypes and technologies for Sidewalk Toronto. Starting June 30, 307 will be open to the public on weekends from 12 pm to 6 pm.
News also recently broke about the deadline for the Sidewalk Toronto plan being pushed back, so if you want even the slightest idea of what’s in store, 307 is the place to go.
307 is yet another way that Sidewalk Labs is engaging the public in an effort to develop a smart neighbourhood that is designed for people first. When you visit 307, you’ll be able to see which technologies are in the works, use prototypes, and participate in workshops and other activities.
Members of the Sidewalk Labs team will be on hand for demos and to explain everything. They’re also there to here what you have to say about the future of Sidewalk Toronto. If you have a concern, express it. If you have an idea for how Sidewalk Toronto would benefit you or a specific demographic, share it!
An example of a new technology you’ll see at 307 is The Dynamic Street. This is a modular paving system using hexagonal “pavers”, which can be picked up and replaced in a matter of hours or minutes. The shape distributes weight better, so cracks and potholes are less likely to form. Sidewalk Labs is also experimenting with lights in the pavers, which could replace or serve as additional signage or signals for users of the road.
Another example is Navigating 307, which involves navigational beacons being used to improve wayfinding. The technology would allow for descriptions of a space to assist with navigation and improve accessibility.
There’s also something called Digital Electricity, which we can’t even begin to understand. It’s “an emerging technology that allows for the delivery of high voltage and current using off-the-shelf cabling typically used in low voltage applications. This system reduces construction costs, minimizes the risk of electric shock as compared to standard AC power, and allows better diagnostics on energy consumption,” according to the Sidewalk Toronto website. All we know is that if it can reduce construction costs, it could impact housing affordability.
The space itself is also a demonstration of what the future holds for Sidewalk Toronto. Tall Timber buildings are being planned, so the entry to 307 is constructed out of timber. There are also LED fixtures, low-flow plumbing, and energy efficient heating and cooling. Smart technology is a great way to improve energy efficiency, so we expect Sidewalk Toronto to have many sustainability features.
Visit 307 on the weekend!
With no concrete details, we are having a difficult time picturing what life in Sidewalk Toronto would be like, but that’s because Sidewalk Labs isn’t 100% sure either. That’s why 307 is open to the public on the weekends and they’re hosting Open Sidewalks, a monthly series of new prototypes and workshops. Sidewalk Labs needs your input in order to make this tech-forward community a success!
Visit Sidewalk Labs at 307 Lake Shore Blvd. East on the weekends from 12 pm to 6 pm, starting June 30.