A truly smart nation needs to be smart about citizen partnership

The shutdown of the Toronto smart city project being developed by Sidewalk Labs highlights the need for smart city planners to move at a pace citizens can accept

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One of the lesser-known casualties of Covid-19 has been a large-scale urban development in Toronto, led by Google sibling company Sidewalk Labs.

Several years in the making, the Google City - as it was sometimes dubbed in the media - ultimately came to a halt because of the ongoing recession, but was stymied for its entire lifespan by its public perception as what some activists labelled an "800-acre surveillance state".

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 11, 2020, with the headline A truly smart nation needs to be smart about citizen partnership. Subscribe