It includes a neighbourhood made of wood, public spaces that come alive and dynamic streets
Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs and Waterfront Toronto have released their first look at what the quayside project, Sidewalk Toronto, could look like at a roundtable event for the community this week.
The preview includes a neighbourhood “made of wood” with Sidewalk Toronto planning to utilise tall timber construction methods to create neighbourhoods that are more sustainable and beautiful, as well as create buildings that are more flexible and can change over time. They claim that they can do this as cheap or even cheaper than conventional buildings today.
The project is a joint effort to design a new kind of mixed-use, complete community on Toronto’s Eastern Waterfront. From the outset, it aims to combine forward-thinking urban design and new digital technology to create “people-centred neighbourhoods” that achieve “precedent-setting” levels of sustainability, affordability, mobility, and economic opportunity.
Earlier this month, Waterfront Toronto signed and released the plan development agreement with Sidewalk Labs, which paves the way for its waterfront community plan.
Other features of the development include what it describes as a public space that “will come alive”. It explained that outside, Sidewalk Toronto is developing ways to block wind and rain and melt snow to make the outdoor spaces created usable more of the year. Through expandable building canopies, streets that melt snow, and other techniques, the organisations believe they can double the amount of time people are comfortable outdoors.
It will also feature "dynamic streets" with Sidewalk Toronto testing streets that change how they are used based on demand, time of day or even the weather, and that take advantage of the coming shift to driverless cars. The aim is to give back more of the street space to pedestrians, cyclists, street fairs, and more.
The presentation also showed how “a bold new system” of connected waterfront parks and public spaces will be developed.
Visuals of the development can be seen below and the Waterfront Toronto and Sidewalk Labs presentation can be viewed here