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With communication increasingly taking place online, issues related on Internet access, broadband availability and affordability, public and private regulation of social media and its use, and the practices and policies of major online platforms have become central to the state of expressive freedom and public discourse that underpins democracy.

Video January 24, 2019

Whose Data and Whose City?

The deal between Google-affiliate Sidewalk Labs and Waterfront Toronto for a ‘smart city’ district on waterfront lands raises serious public issues about who will govern the massive amount of data generated from the integral surveillance proposed.
Blog December 4, 2018

Public Lands, Private Control, and Housing Needs in the "Smart City" Quayside Development

For over a year, Google’s Sidewalk Labs has flooded the Internet with watercolour images of bits of a future ‘smart city’ neighbourhood in Toronto’s Quayside district. But unlike normal developers, Sidewalk Labs has yet to make a complete and formal application to the planning department and city council. And citizens do not have any details about the business plan for the proposed development.
Blog December 3, 2018

Mystery on the Waterfront: How the "Smart City" Allure Led a Major Public Agency in Toronto Into a Reckless Deal with Big Tech

Once upon a time, Waterfront Toronto (WT) was a high-profile public agency that had largely succeeded in combining enthusiastic support for upscale waterfront condos with a progressive civic agenda – no mean feat in an age of increasing political polarization and urban inequality. For example, zoning bylaws for waterfront developments, put in place before any condo building be designed, require at least 20% of affordable housing.