Alphabet Inc. Plans A Beta City

Can Alphabet and Sidewalk Labs produce great urban design? Toronto is about to find out.

Since its inception, Sidewalk Labs–the Alphabet subsidiary devoted to urban technology–has talked about building a “smart city” to test its ideas. Today, Alphabet CEO Eric Schmidt and Sidewalk Labs CEO Dan Doctoroff were joined by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to make good on those threats, announcing a plan to develop Sidewalk Toronto: A 12-acre urban development along Toronto’s waterfront. “The reality is, you can produce all these documents, but you need an actual city,” Schmidt said on stage. “You actually need some land.”