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Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s goals and investments have extended well beyond Internet search and online advertising. Google’s other businesses include Calico an organization devoted to health and well-being and Google X a Google entity developing autonomous vehicles.

One of Google’s objectives is to leverage innovation and state-of-the-art technology to achieve enhanced urban life for residents, enterprises, and governments.

As per a current post on Google+ by Google CEO, Larry Page, Google is floating a new independent urban innovation firm named Sidewalk Labs dedicated to improve cities. Dan Doctoroff, former CEO of Bloomberg and Deputy Mayor of Economic Development and Rebuilding for the City of New York will manage Sidewalk.
The company would be developing new products, platforms and partnerships to reduce the cost of living and make transportation and energy usage more efficient. New York-based Sidewalk Labs would develop technology on its own or purchase it.

Mr. Page opined that SideWalk Labs was a relatively small investment and quite different from Google’s main business. Mr. Doctoroff stated that he knew Eric Schmidt Google’s executive Chairman for a long time while he was only recently acquainted with Mr. Page. Larry Page held Googler Adrian Aoun as instrumental in bringing Doctoroff on board.

Mr. Doctoroff has expertise in urban challenges thanks to his six years as deputy mayor. Google has the financial muscle and technical know how. In Mr. Doctoroff’s view, Sidewalk Labs was at the right time with relevant technologies now available to tackle the monumental challenges of the environment, health as well as affordable housing.

According to him, the repertoire of rapidly emerging technologies included sensors, smartphones and the proliferation of digital data along with intelligent software to facilitate residents and municipal governments to make informed decisions. He further said that the technology can pave the way to extraordinary business opportunities and ways to significantly enhance the quality of life.

Mr. Doctoroff said that the new venture required him to apply his entire career experience. He believed that this monumental task was a convergence of his skills at a juncture of historic convergence for cities.

sources: bloomberg, nytimes