Greater than Ever

As Deputy Mayor of New York, Dan Doctoroff presided over a period of significant regeneration in the city, including the creation of the High Line and the redevelopment of Lower Manhattan in the wake of 9/11. This week he releases his book ‘Greater than Ever’, charting tough decisions on rezoning, social housing and property tax hikes. However, now as CEO of Alphabet-funded Sidewalk Labs, Doctoroff has the new challenge of combining this experience with Google’s technological prowess in a mission to build a new city. From a foundation of ‘ubiquitous connectivity’, the focus will be on ‘accelerating urban innovation’; the vehicle for this being ‘a large scale district that can serve as a laboratory for urban technology’. Apparently, they are well advanced in selecting a site. Specific projects include automated fabrication, integrated public services and adaptive traffic lights. Interestingly, their ambitions also extend to urban scenario modelling, allowing the public to vote on visually modelled town planning alternatives and economic interventions. And some say we have had enough of referenda?