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Sidewalk Labs’ Grand Vision Meets Reality in Toronto

Sidewalk Labs executives were full of ambition two years ago when they pitched their parent company, Alphabet, more than 600 pages of plans for building a city neighborhood from scratch.

The 2016 proposal, which Sidewalk described as preliminary, was designed to stretch the conventions of urban planning, proposing things like enclosing the newly created district with a 260-foot-tall plastic dome. Residential buildings would be constructed with interchangeable, prefabricated sections to make housing easy to customize. The new development eventually was expected to generate tens of billions of dollars in revenue over several decades through land or building sales and tax revenue.

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