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Dan Doctoroff and Jessica Lessin. Photo by Chris Fargo.
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Is Alphabet Going to Build a City?

Photo: Dan Doctoroff and Jessica Lessin. Photo by Chris Fargo.

In its first year of existence, the Alphabet-owned “urban innovation company” Sidewalk Labs has been working on products to improve WiFi access and traffic flows in cities. But there’s signs it has skyscraper-sized ambitions that lean towards building a city from the ground up.

Sidewalk CEO Dan Doctoroff hinted as much in an appearance at The Information’s New York summit on Tuesday, after editor in chief Jessica Lessin said on stage she had heard that Sidewalk had hired consultants to explore the idea of building a city from scratch. Developing a city “would be a great idea,” he said in response, while noting “I can’t tell you anything.”

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