Google is set to build a “new kind” of high-tech neighbourhood that will be unlike anywhere else in the world.
The company has revealed radical plans for the town, which will be called Quayside.
It will feature flexible buildings that can be completely reconfigured at speed, and Google will even attempt to “mitigate” the weather, to encourage people to spend more time outside.
It’s an astonishing vision, which Google hopes to turn into “a blueprint for the 21st-century urban neighbourhood”.
Quayside will be built on Toronto’s Eastern Waterfront, with the project being undertaken by Google subsidiary Sidewalk Labs and the Canadian government.
Sidewalk Labs says it will “combine forward-thinking urban design and new digital technology to create people-centred neighbourhoods that achieve precedent-setting levels of sustainability, affordability, mobility, and economic opportunity”.
One of the most intriguing plans set out by the company describes a system designed to make the weather feel nicer.
“Innovative urban design, new lightweight materials, and better weather prediction capabilities make it more feasible than ever before to manage the outdoor experience without turning public spaces into indoor winter gardens,” it says in its plans.
“Awnings that block rain, physical structures that block wind during the winter but not during the summer, and sun shades can all add significantly to the daytime and evening hours when the experienced temperature feels comfortable to most people.”
For instance, it will test retractable canopies and heated bike and pedestrian paths to melt snow.
“Sidewalk’s analysis suggests that managing wind, sun, and precipitation can double the number of daylight hours when it is comfortable to be outside,” it adds.