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News Link • Transportation

Looking for a Smart City? Grab Your Skis

• by Aarian Marshal

The reason, of course, is the chips (and a lack of talent). But an enterprising few may actually dust the crumbs off their laps and make it to the ski slopes. There, at a quaint mountain resort, they will encounter something they didn't come looking for. Something oft-hyped but rarely seen in the wild: a smart city.

"Smart city" has become an A+ public relations byword, a mostly empty phrase that seems to mean "places that collect data about stuff." In Toronto, Google parent company Alphabet is trying to build the most techno-optimist vision of the concept, a waterfront community development that will monitor its residents' movements to test new ideas about waste management, affordable housing, even outdoor furniture. But that experiment lives in the future. Alphabet's Sidewalk Labs, which is spearheading the Toronto effort, says it will spend all of this year collecting input from residents about what they'd like to see in their neighborhoods.

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