Toronto Open Smart Cities Forum

 

The Toronto Open Smart Cities Forum assists the public in responding to proposed and existing networked forms of urbanism like Sidewalk Toronto. The Forum operates on principles of openness, transparency, and inclusivity. It is made up of interested residents, academics, civil society groups, community groups, urbanists, and others.

Any member of the public is welcome to participate in the Forum. The Forum prepares documents to provide input and/or feedback as the Sidewalk Toronto process continues. 

In addition to this work, it supports community education events and the creation and sharing of resources. The purpose of these resources is to help inform and educate residents affected by networked urbanist forms of smart cities like Sidewalk Toronto and others who are interested in open smart city solutions.

The Forum’s steering committee is a network that facilitates the activities of the Forum. It will meet via conference call or in-person. The Centre for Free Expression at Ryerson University provides administrative support for the Forum. 

Subscribe to the Toronto Open Smart Cities Forum email list


PODCAST: 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.


COMMENTARY: 

WE’RE NOT DONE TALKING ABOUT PRIVACY IN THE SMART CITY

January 24, 2019 - Since Sidewalk Labs and Waterfront Toronto announced their agreement to develop a plan for a Quayside smart city project, privacy concerns have been a big part of the conversation.

BY BRENDA MCPHAIL AND NABEEL AHMED


COMMENTARY: 

THE WATERFRONT TORONTO CRISIS: WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS?

December 7, 2018 - On Wednesday, Ontario’s Auditor General (AG) released her annual report in which she highlighted a series of serious internal governance issues facing Waterfront Toronto (WT). Most crucially for the future of the Quayside smart city development, the report concluded that WT entered into an agreement with Sidewalk Labs “without sufficient due diligence and provincial involvement”.

BY MARIANA VALVERDE AND NABEEL AHMED


COMMENTARY: 

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER HEADING INTO SIDEWALK TORONTO’S FOURTH PUBLIC MEETING TOMORROW

December 7, 2018 - Since the start of the Sidewalk Toronto project, community members have been creating a running list of questions for the Sidewalk Toronto project team.  Many of them remain unanswered. 

BY BIANCA WYLIE
CO-WRITTEN BY MELISSA GOLDSTEIN


COMMENTARY: 

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 Quay

BY MARIANA VALVERDE


COMMENTARY: 

UNTANGLING QUAYSIDE & SIDEWALK TORONTO – UPDATES AND NARRATIVES

As 2018 comes to a close, there has been a tremendous amount of activity in Toronto on the smart city front. This post provides a recap of some of this activity (including updates to the timing and process), identifies four narratives about the smart city that need to be examined closely, and looks ahead to what is coming up and how Torontonians are talking about alternative urban futures.

BY NABEEL AHMED


COMMENTARY: 

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

BY MARIANA VALVERDE
CO-WRITTEN BY ALEXANDRA FLYNN


COMMENTARY: 

IN LIBRARIES WE TRUST

To be a world-class digital city, Toronto must make the public library — not Google — its core institution of trust.

BY MILAN GOKHALE


COMMENTARY: 

TOWARDS A MORE EQUITABLE SIDEWALK TORONTO

Sidewalk Labs says they will not get preferential access to data collected. Why should they get access to any data at all?

BY MILAN GOKHALE


COMMENTARY:

THE DIGITAL STRATEGY ADVISORY PANEL STANDS UP

Five months and four meetings after it was first constituted, the Waterfront Toronto Digital Strategy Advisory Panel finally kicked into gear. In keeping with how the Sidewalk Toronto project has proceeded, it was a bit of stop-start ride.

BY NABEEL AHMED

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