Sidewalk Labs, Alphabet’s city development organization, is forging ahead with a series of new labs devoted to affordable housing, health care innovation, municipal budgeting, and modeling out urban planning schemes, says CEO Daniel Doctoroff in a post on Medium. Participating in these labs will be a chosen set of entrepreneurs, policy wonks, and technologists. Each lab will work with local leaders to come up with innovative solutions to urban planning quandaries and will (hopefully) eventually be able to spin out into their own companies. Doctoroff hopes to get eight or nine labs up and running in the next six months, which will operate out of Hudson Yards on Manhattan’s west side.
The organization already has helped get a few projects off the ground. It’s contributed funding to LinkNYC—what will be the world’s largest free public Wi-Fi program when it’s fully rolled out in New York. And earlier this year, Sidewalk Labs also announced it was teaming up with Transportation for America to help 16 cities prepare to deal with the onslaught of ride-sharing apps and the eventuality of self-driving cars.