Google wants to fix the modern city with new company called Sidewalk Labs. CEO and co-founder Larry Page announced the news in a Google+ post on Wednesday, though he didn’t offer many specifics.
Sidewalk will focus on a variety or urban issues, ranging from affordable housing and public transportation to pollution, parks and bike paths. Page suggests that, rather than tackling each category separately, the new company should focus on the big picture. It will develop new technology, buy and invest in other firms, and serve as a sort of incubator for urban tech.
“By improving urban technology, it’s possible to significantly improve the lives of billions of people around the world,” said Page. “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.”
Page wouldn’t reveal how much Google is spending in the project, but called it a “modest investment.” He compared it to Calico, a company established by Google that’s focused on curing diseases.
Sidewalks will be based in New York and led by Dan Doctoroff, who served as Deputy Mayor of Economic Development and Rebuilding for the New York City under Mayor Bloomberg.