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Is Google Getting Into The Real Estate Business?


Execs at Alphabet, Google’s parent company, are set to hear a pitch from its urban tech subsidiary, Sidewalk Labs, on a plan to get into the city-building business.

The proposal will involve developing giant new districts of housing, offices and retail within existing cities—all heavily integrated with technology, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Alphabet would find cities with large chunks of lands the municipality wants redeveloped, where the company would build up districts holding tens of thousands of people—creating a proving ground for new "smart city" tech, like self-driving cars and more efficient infrastructure, in the process.

Sidewalk’s CEO Daniel Doctoroff hinted at his new project during a speech at NYU, saying, “What would you do if you could actually create a city from scratch? How would you think about the technological foundations?”

Alphabet has never built a smart city before—but it’s been having a rough time with its smart home company, where turnover, overworked staff and glitchy devices have been a hallmark recently. [WSJ]