Why Canada’s smart cities need H.E.A.R.T (CanCon Ep. 130)

Quayside Sidewalk Toronto
Sidewalk Toronto's Quayside project could be a major topic of discussion during Collision 2019.

As Toronto revels in its international tech moment, much attention has been paid to the Quayside project, a joint smart city initiative between Waterfront Toronto and Alphabet subsidiary Sidewalk Labs. Not all that attention has been positive, as each new week seems to bring new controversy – over privacy, data rights, IP, secrecy, and social good.

But Quayside isn’t the only smart city project in the world. In fact, there are currently over 1,000 globally, with 500 of those in China alone.

So what it is needed to build a true smart city that works for its citizens as much as the corporate and government forces building it? Futurist (and BetaKit contributor) Nikolas Badminton has a few thoughts, which conveniently fit into an easy-to-remember acronym.

Beyond the philosophical, Badminton also has thoughts on the political and practical problems causing tensions on Toronto’s waterfront. Of course, solving that riddle requires answering a few more questions: namely, who owns the assets?

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The smart city playbook
Who owns ‘us’ in the Smart City
Putting H.E.A.R.T. into the smart city

Sidewalk Toronto: building controversy
Sidewalk Labs taking steps to control intellectual property on Toronto’s ‘smart city,’ document shows
Sidewalk Toronto has an approved plan for Quayside, but not without controversy

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Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys is the Editor-in-Chief of BetaKit and founder of BetaKit Incorporated. He has worked for a few failed companies and written about many more. He spends too much time on the Internet.

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