Sidewalk Labs: innovation in local deliveries

An experiment in smart city design is being proposed in Toronto. Sidewalk Labs (Google affiliate) is partnering with Waterfront Toronto to create a mixed-use community on a 12-acre site east of downtown with innovative concepts in local deliveries, waste collection and construction logistics.

Local deliveries

To reduce above-ground traffic, freight would be distributed through tunnels in the neighborhood using a robotic system. Parcels would arrive at a single point, from which robots would sort and consolidate parcels, transport them to each building, and place them in a rack system in each building’s freight elevator. The items would be delivered to a designated area on each floor for residents to pick up.

Waste collection

A district-wide vacuum system will collect waste. Recyclables and compostable material can be sorted partly by residents, and partly through an automated system, which will use machine-learning to improve its sorting capabilities over time.

Construction logistics

Sidewalk plans to develop a digital configurator that could work with the kit of parts to generate mass timber design options along with cost and time estimates. These BIM models could be refined by an architect, and transmitted directly to manufacturers for off-site production, reducing construction time and waste. “Every piece of the building basically has a serial number,” says Khalifa to Canadian Architect, “so if there’s a problem with some element, you would know where those trees came from and what production line they were in, and could look to see if that impact is on any other piece of the building.”

Source and picture: Elsa Lam in Canadian Architect

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