The city’s future depends on how it can best mobilize and marshal its assets to get back-up-and-running safely during this period. Even as the state and city are all out to mobilize to combat the virus, preparation for reopening and recovery must start now.
The lockdown will end before scientists develop a working vaccine. Here’s a four-point plan for how companies should adapt.
As the coronavirus surges across Canada, the immediate response has been social distancing to damp down its spread. But our cities can’t stay locked-down indefinitely. The economic costs, never mind the toll it takes on our society, culture, and mental health, are too devastating. Sooner or later, they will need to reopen.If we want to reopen safely and securely, we have to start preparing now. In addition to widespread testing, careful monitoring and more precisely targeted interventions, here is a short list of practical things we can start to do now to get our cities and economy back up and running safely and securely.
A dozen or so years ago, I was recruited to Toronto to establish the Martin Prosperity Institute, a think tank focused on urban, regional and national competitiveness. My wife and I have grown to love this city we call home. But Toronto needs to compete with the best of the best, and that’s why I support Sidewalk Labs’ Quayside project.
Toronto has made it into the ranks of global cities. It tends to place highly in rankings of quality of life. It has strong banks and a world-class real estate market. But despite the hype about high-tech in Toronto, we lag significantly behind the world’s leading cities.
Canada prides itself on its reputation as an open, tolerant and caring place. Especially at our border, where the image of Justin Trudeau greeting refugees turned away from the United States was seen around the world. But, over the dozen years that we have lived in Toronto, we have regularly encountered problems when coming back home to Canada at Pearson Airport.
We need to talk. We need a conversation about the real facts of cycling and pedestrian safety in this city. Where are the real problems? What are the realistic, evidence-based options to make our streets safer?
Sidewalk Labs released its long-awaited plan on Monday, providing a detailed look at what it has in store for the city’s waterfront. To date, the controversy over the project has revolved around critical issues of privacy and the nature of its waterfront development. But there is another dimension to the initiative, one that has been largely missing from the conversation: the role of Sidewalk Labs’ project in Toronto and Canada’s future high-tech development.
Urbanists and privacy experts across the city have raised important concerns about the Sidewalk Labs’ project on Toronto’s waterfront. But something important remains missing from the conversation. We are failing to consider what Sidewalk Labs can do for our economic future. This is a project that holds the promise of vaulting Toronto to world leadership in one of the most important fields of high-tech industry.