Smart Cities: Quayside, Toronto

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Recent uses of remote sensing in coverage of land mapping has drawn favorable attention and some desirable results. Remote sensing is literally used in thousands of applications such as sea ice monitoring, ship tracking and national defense in dangerous areas such as the Arctic and for light detection and ranging to accurately measure how far things are when it comes to airplanes and drones. Remote sensing has also been used in the active development of smart cities. A smart city is designed to address the needs of the various businesses, institutions and the citizens that reside within it by employing the use of information-communications systems to optimize management of energy resources, decentralize energy production and integrate business models and economic models for support. Smart cities often combine information technology with infrastructure, architecture and human power to address major issues. Objects in such cities are infused with intelligence factors with a basic concept of integrating both the physical and the virtual world. Most objects in smart cities are given additional competencies involving sensing so they can share data and optimize their own functions.

Although there have been a number of smart city projects, most of them have failed to accomplish their full potential or ultimate goals. A new project in Toronto, called Quayside, is hoping to change the pattern of failure within smart city projects, by rethinking an urban neighborhood from the ground up and rebuilding it around the latest digital technologies. Sidewalk Labs, an affiliate of Alphabet Inc, an urban innovation organization to improve urban infrastructure with technological solutions, has teamed up with the Canadian government to develop this project scheduled for Toronto’s industrial waterfront. One of the major focuses of Quayside is the ability to evaluate solutions of design and technologies on information from networks of remote sensor based objects which gather and supply data on everything in the city including air quality, noise levels and human interaction, behavior and activities. Further plans intend on developing vehicles that are autonomous, having robots move beneath the surface doing menial chores like delivering mail and garbage removal and having sensors that have extended capabilities. In addition, Sidewalk Labs intends on leaving their software and systems open for others to create and develop additional services that could be beneficial within the city much like developers build apps for mobile devices. The company will develop technologies to manage sun, wind and rain which could double the number of daylight hours and also technology to improve on construction whereas cost of living is decreased.

Check out a video about Quayside on YouTube.

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