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Google goes urban with Sidewalk Labs

New innovation lab will aim to tackle issues of urban areas

Sidewalk Labs will look to tackle issues facing urban areas such as traffic and pollution.
Sidewalk Labs will look to tackle issues facing urban areas such as traffic and pollution.

Google and the former Bloomberg LP CEO and deputy mayor of New York, Dan Doctoroff, have announced the formation of a new company that will aim to use technology to tackle urban issues.

Sidewalk Labs Inc will use technologies in areas such as ubiquitous connectivity and sharing, the internet of things, dynamic resource management and flexible buildings and infrastructure to develop solutions to improve city life for residents, businesses and governments.

Doctoroff will take on the CEO role for Sidewalk, which will be funded and supported by Google.

The company said in a statement that it will focus on products, platforms and partnerships to make transportation more efficient, lower the cost of living, reduce energy usage and help government operate more efficiently.

Doctoroff said: "We are at the beginning of a historic transformation in cities. At a time when the concerns about urban equity, costs, health and the environment are intensifying, unprecedented technological change is going to enable cities to be more efficient, responsive, flexible and resilient. We hope that Sidewalk will play a major role in developing technology products, platforms and advanced infrastructure that can be implemented at scale in cities around the world."

Larry Page added: "By improving urban technology, it's possible to significantly improve the lives of billions of people around the world. With Sidewalk, we want to supercharge existing efforts in areas such as housing, energy, transportation and government to solve real problems that city-dwellers face every day. Every time I talk with Dan I feel an amazing sense of opportunity because of his passion for all the ways technology can help transform cities to be more liveable, flexible and vibrant. And when you combine that with his experience as an investor, in NYC government, and as CEO of the large information company Bloomberg LP, I can't imagine a better person to lead these efforts."