Silicon Valley has a solution for everything, but who do its ideas really serve? Every Thursday, Paris Marx is joined by a new guest to critically examine the tech industry, its thought leaders, and the worldview it spreads. They challenge the notion that tech alone can drive our world forward by showing that separating tech from politics has consequences for us all, especially the most vulnerable. But if tech won't save us, what will? This podcast isn't simply about tearing tech down; it also presents radical ideas for tech designed for human flourishing instead of surveillance, acquisitions, or to boost stock prices. A better world is possible, and so is better technology.

Why Google’s Toronto Smart City Failed w/ Josh O'Kane

September 29, 2022 0:54:42 39.42 MB Downloads: 0

Paris Marx is joined by Josh O’Kane to discuss how Sidewalk Labs decided to build a city “from the internet up” in Toronto, the concerns that existed with the project, and why it ultimately fell apart.

Josh O’Kane is an award-winning technology reporter at the Globe and Mail and the author of Sideways: The City Google Couldn't Buy. Follow Josh on Twitter at @joshokane.

Tech Won’t Save Us offers a critical perspective on tech, its worldview, and wider society with the goal of inspiring people to demand better tech and a better world. Follow the podcast (@techwontsaveus) and host Paris Marx (@parismarx) on Twitter, support the show on Patreon, and sign up for the weekly newsletter.

The podcast is produced by Eric Wickham and part of the Harbinger Media Network.

Also mentioned in this episode:

  • An excerpt of Josh’s book was published in the Globe and Mail.
  • Josh wrote about how Canada’s Liberal government under Justin Trudeau isn’t as friendly with tech companies as it was earlier in its time in power.
  • Around the time of Sidewalk Toronto, opponents were able to defeat Amazon’s HQ2 project in New York, Google’s Berlin startup hub, Apple’s planned central Stockholm store, and its planned store in Melbourne’s Fed Square.
  • Bianca Wylie was one of the prominent critics of the project, and was called the “Jane Jacobs of the smart city.”
  • In 2019, documents leaked showing Sidewalk Labs wanted a lot more power and access to more land than was agreed upon, and that further fueled opposition.
  • In May 2020, Wylie wrote about the cancelation of the project and the lessons that should be learned.
Support the show