On Thursday, local time, Google parent Alphabet’s Alphabet Corp. said it would abandon plans to build a high-tech city center on Toronto’s waterfront,media reported. The project, which has sparked much controversy, has been billed as a “city of the future” and will be built in Toronto’s Docklands as planned. The building envisaged in the plan is made up of environmentally sustainable wood and flexible movable wall panels that measure the use of public facilities.
Now, Dan Doctoroff, CEO of Sidewalk Labs, has announced that they have chosen to abandon the project because of the economic crisis caused by the new corona virus pandemic. He
“With unprecedented economic uncertainty around the world and in the Toronto real estate market, it has become very difficult to make this 12-acre project financially viable without sacrificing the core of the program,” he wrote in a blog post. “
Sidewalk Labs first announced in 2015 that every step of the project faces resistance because of concerns from privacy advocates about data collection and potential mass surveillance. Two years ago, several advisers, including Ann Cavoukian, a former Ontario information and privacy commissioner, also announced their resignations over privacy concerns.
The project has also caused outrage among local activists. On Thursday, Block Sidewalk, an organization opposed to the Smart City Project, welcomed the decision.