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The pandemic has forced us to reexamine and reimagine how we use one of our most precious public spaces: our streets. From outdoor dining to expanded bike lanes, cities have been re-designing streets so they can be better shared by all — drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians alike. But could we take this idea even further? What if we could use desig…
 
For about a century, architects and developers have dreamed of the promise of factory-based construction — after all, if Henry Ford revolutionized the auto industry with assembly lines, why shouldn’t we be able to make buildings in factories, too? But, in North America at least, almost every attempt to revolutionize this industry has failed. But no…
 
Generative design is the process of automatically producing thousands of designs based on goals and constraints you feed into a computer. In this episode, we ask: could you apply generative design to something as complex as the urban planning process? Could it reveal better designs for buildings, neighborhoods, districts — showing us options we did…
 
To save our planet, we’ll need to reduce emissions — fast. And if we’re serious about addressing climate change, we’ll need to address one of our biggest carbon emitters: buildings. That doesn’t just go for the new, shiny skyscrapers with access to lots of resources, but all buildings: old and new, big and small. We’re kicking off season 3 with an …
 
Hi, City of the Future listeners! Remember when we asked if anyone would like to listen to a pilot of a new podcast? Well good news — that podcast launches today! It’s called the Sidewalk Weekly, and it's a light-hearted chat show that provides your weekly dose of urban tech news. We’ll do interviews, we’ll play games, we’ll make some bad jokes, an…
 
In the last century, we started to design our buildings in a way that was divorced from the environment. We made sealed, hermetic structures that never moved and never changed. But now, technologies and materials are allowing our buildings to move, evolve, and even respond — not only to their environments, but to us, too. In this episode, hosts Eri…
 
For a sustainable future, we need to turn away from fossil fuels and turn towards electricity. But to electrify everything — our cars, our buildings, our entire neighborhoods — we'll need to make some big changes first. In this episode, hosts Eric Jaffe and Vanessa Quirk explore the future of electrification with Gretchen Bakke, author of The Grid:…
 
Getting around cities today can be challenging. Streets are congested and chaotic, and new modes seem to be popping up daily, adding to the confusion. Cities won't just need physical infrastructure to prepare for these growing mobility options, but the digital infrastructure to help coordinate them all. In this episode, hosts Eric Jaffe and Vanessa…
 
We're in a housing crisis. Could affordability by design be part of the solution? In this episode hosts Eric Jaffe and Vanessa Quirk look at trends in housing — from unit design to co-living — and ask how the private sector can do more to support the public sector in creating more choice and affordability in cities. Special thanks to Ori CEO Hasier…
 
Today, Sidewalk Labs’ proposal for Toronto, the Master Innovation and Development Plan (MIDP), will be released to the public. And because a lot of the innovations in the MIDP are episode topics that we’ll be exploring in Season 2, we figured we’d drop a bonus episode with a special guest: Sidewalk Labs CEO Dan Doctoroff.…
 
For our first live show, co-host Vanessa Quirk moderates a discussion with some of the familiar voices from season 1: Director of Buildings Innovation Karim Khalifa; Director of Mobility for Streets Willa Ng; and Associate Director of Sustainability Emily Kildow. We talk about everything from fire testing timber to congestion pricing to pneumatic t…
 
Simple as it may seem, recycling properly is really hard — and our misguided attempts are actually harming the planet more than helping. But what if we could know, instantly, if we're recycling correctly? What if we were "nudged" to recycle better? Or reuse more? In this episode, we explore how behavioral science — and computer vision — could help …
 
Every day, truck drivers are out battling rush hour traffic, maneuvering through narrow city streets, circling for parking, emitting exhaust — all to get you your package as fast as possible. For the sake of our cities, and our planet, things have to change. The future of delivery will be smaller, less loud, and more sustainable. In fact, in the fu…
 
Traffic lights were invented to improve pedestrian safety, but they also created streets that put cars first. But what if traffic lights could respond to the actual conditions at the intersection — perhaps stay red for an elderly walker or turn green for a crowded bus? In this episode, we explore an innovation that could change the hierarchy of the…
 
In our second episode, we explore how modular pavement — which would allow us to embed technologies into our streets — could transform our cities. We talk to Tim Allen, co-founder of a start-up working to make pavement warm up and melt snow (Arctic Heat Technologies); Thierry Sedran, the father of "removable urban pavement"; and Chris Sitzenstock a…
 
In our first episode of City of the Future, our new bi-weekly podcast, we explore how mass timber could transform our cities — by making wooden skyscrapers possible. We talk to the world’s leading expert on tall wooden buildings, Michael Green, and Sidewalk’s Director of Buildings Innovation, Karim Khalifa. This episode was produced by Kara Oehler.…
 
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