Briefing

Sidewalk Labs’ digital proposals for Toronto’s waterfront still lacks ‘critical details,’ panel says

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Waterfront Toronto’s Digital Strategy and Advisory Panel also raised concerns around the lack of a clearly defined digital-governance framework for the smart-city proposal and questioned the “appropriateness and necessity” of some of the digital infrastructure proposals. They also raised concerns around the partnership, citing the resources and influence of Sidewalk Labs’ parent company, Alphabet, and calling for “clearly defined accountability.” (The Logic)

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Talking point: The panel’s commentary follows its preliminary feedback from September 2019 on Sidewalk Labs’ June Master Innovation and Development Plan (MIDP); at the time, it called the proposal “frustratingly abstract.” Today, the panel acknowledged that the firm’s Digital Innovation Appendix released that November, meant to provide further specifics, was a “significant improvement” from the MIDP. In response to the panel’s concerns around its partnership with Sidewalk Labs, Waterfront Toronto said it’s been making a “thorough assessment” since the beginning of the relationship.