Google’s founders wanted to shape a city — Toronto is their chance

A rendering of the Sidewalk Labs vision for a new waterfront development in Toronto. Credit Sidewalk Labs/TheUpshot

By Emily Badger | TheUpshot

Google’s founders have long fantasized about what would happen if the company could shape the real world as much as it has life on the internet.

“Years ago, we were sitting there thinking, Wouldn’t it be nice if you could take technical things that we know and apply them to cities?” Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Alphabet (now Google’s parent company), said Tuesday. “And our founders got really excited about this. We started talking about all of these things that we could do if someone would just give us a city and put us in charge.”

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