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30 Aug 2022

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Sidewalk Labs Unveils Plan to Make Cities More Sustainable in 2022

Sidewalk Labs, the urban innovation company, owned by Google's parent company Alphabet, has announced its long-term vision to make all cities more sustainable, focusing on improving living conditions in the United States first before expanding globally.

The initiative, called Sidewalk2022, will provide free resources, tools, and insights to help cities of all sizes meet the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The plan was developed with input from urban leaders worldwide who share the goal of making cities more inclusive, affordable, and sustainable.

The company has continued working on products that can help make future cities more sustainable and equitable. More importantly, given the urgency of curbing climate change, 70% of CO2 emissions are derived from cities.

The company's Mesa product helps building owners reduce carbon emissions from commercial buildings and has added leak detection and air quality monitoring capabilities over the past six months.

The new features allow tenants and owners to prevent costly water damage and create more comfortable spaces for their residents. For example, to help preserve its contemporary art installations, companies like MoMA PS1 in New York City are using Mesa to maintain optimal temperatures and humidity levels in its spaces.

New Land Enterprises, a real estate development and property management company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, achieved significant savings with Mesa, including reducing total energy use by 33% and increasing occupant comfort by 50%.

In addition, the temperature of Mesa's offices is routinely preconditioned so that the temperature is within a comfortable range for the employees' arrival. The best part is that a small amount of energy is dissipated to achieve these purposes.

The company also aims to Design better places for people and the environment using Delve; a product designed to help real estate developer compare thousand of designs for a neighborhood or city block.

This year, Delve has been expanded to include new abilities. For example, it can evaluate the most efficient use of any site within minutes, has been enhanced with contextual site information to improve design generation, and has been changed to measure the project's sustainability and quality of life impact on a surrounding neighborhood.

Developers and cities have used Delve on both sides of the planning process. For example, as part of a recent affordable housing development project in India, Ambur, housing developer Vilasini sought to maximize the number of affordable housing units while minimizing development costs.

Using Delve, a developer was able to identify a design that, through some modest redesign, accommodated the addition of 322 additional affordable units while meeting the original project goals for space, ventilation, and natural daylight.

The Chilean urban developer Las Salinas explored possibilities for a historic brownfield near the sea in the city of Via del Mar, Chile, with Delve. Las Salinas conducted an open process with the surrounding neighborhoods and communities, which ultimately wanted to know and compare different combinations of residential, retail, commercial, and cultural uses for the land and how they might optimize open space and views of the ocean from the site.

In addition, the use of Delve allowed the city to foresee various possible futures and the effects they would have on the city.

"At Sidewalk Labs, improving quality of life is at the heart of everything we do. We're so proud of the work we've accomplished as a startup and equally proud of the products we've launched and the customers we've helped as part of Google. We hope you're just as excited to come along for the (low-carbon) ride." An insider commented on a published post

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