Sidewalk Labs is Hiring!

Sidewalk Labs is a new type of company that works with cities to build products addressing big urban problems.


We're building a platform and a set of urban applications to accelerate innovation in cities around the world.

Why Now?

Over the past 200 years, there have been three technological revolutions that have defined the modern city. Each has provided huge benefits but also profound social costs. We are now poised for a fourth.

Steam Revolution

First, the steam revolution gave cities rapid transportation, steamships, and large factories that transformed commerce. But it also gave cities the first industrialized slums and the worst air pollution that mankind had ever known.

Electricity Revolution

Second, the electricity revolution gave us lights, subways, and elevators. But electricity also allowed us to block sunlight, retreat to artificial environments, and warehouse people in high-rises.

Automobile Revolution

Third, the automobile allowed the city to expand in every direction, providing access to more job opportunities and weekend retreats. But it also gave us sprawl, traffic jams, and smog and nearly killed the central city.

Digital Technology Is Ready to Transform Cities

Smartphones already shape how people interact with cities. A new set of digital technologies—ubiquitous connectivity, real-time sensors, precise location services, distributed trust, autonomous systems, and digital actuation and fabrication—can collectively transform city life. But towards what end? Will they make the city more responsive, equitable, innovative, and human or will they challenge civil liberties and security?

We believe digital technologies have the potential to solve today’s pressing urban problems in ways that respect privacy—serving as a bridge to cities of the future.

Challenge



  • High cost of living occurs when housing demand outpaces developed land and infrastructure.

  • Congested commutes result from decades of sprawl and lack of coordination in transportation demand and supply.

  • Public health crises include rising rates of obesity in developed cities and pollution in developing ones.

  • Fossil fuel dependency risks urban resilience and air quality.

Opportunity



  • Modern affordable housing is enabled by performance-based code, advanced materials, and new ownership models.

  • Digital mobility systems can manage limited road space to improve transportation equity and air quality.

  • Personalized social services can deliver measurable health outcomes while maintaining individual privacy.

  • Distributed energy management uses new business models, renewable energy, and smarter storage to improve sustainability.

Our Principles

To improve cities, we must understand what makes them great.

People

Cities are about people. Whenever we improve the human experience, we improve the city. Whenever we ignore it, we make things worse.

Interactions

Cities serve people by fostering interactions, both planned and unplanned, among individuals, their ideas, and their creations. Whenever cities are divided—by wealth, race, or any other factor—their people suffer.

Opportunity

Cities are engines of opportunity. They are the most effective tool humanity has for lifting people out of poverty, and for enjoying a high quality of life without destroying our planet.

Sharing

The inherent power of cities is that they are shared, which helps everyone achieve a level of productivity, efficiency, and savings that we can never achieve as individuals.

Adaptability

Cities thrive when they adapt along with the needs of their citizens, which change constantly but gradually.

Diversity

Openness to newcomers—which celebrates equity, inclusion, and diversity—is what keeps even the oldest cities moving forward.

Shared Values

Cities work best when their diversity is anchored by a shared set of values. These can vary from city to city, giving each one its unique character.

Coordination Without Control

Cities require coordinated actions among people, whether to manage congestion or to preserve public safety. But the most effective coordination is not just top-down; rather, it balances inclusiveness, efficiency, innovation, and preservation.

Platform

Often technology solutions applied to cities have failed to solve real-world problems, and policy solutions have failed to capitalize on the full potential of technology. To address this, Sidewalk Labs is building an integrated platform for urban innovation spanning technology, data, policy best practices, relationships, and capital.

Products

Our platform enables products that can be implemented at scale in cities around the world.

Link NYC

A Commercial Solution to Bridge the Digital Divide

Read More

Flow

The Transportation Coordination Platform for Cities

Read More

Team

Our team bridges the gap between technologist and urbanist. We’ve collectively started companies, built consumer and enterprise products, and helped govern cities.

Rohit T. Aggarwala

Chief Technology Officer


Rohit T. “Rit” Aggarwala is Chief Policy Officer for Sidewalk Labs. Previously, he headed the sustainability practice at Bloomberg Associates, a philanthropic consulting firm that serves city governments. He is also an Adjunct Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, and co-chairs the Regional Plan Association’s Fourth Regional Plan for the New York metropolitan area.

Rit served as Special Advisor to the Chair of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group from 2010-2013, guiding the organization’s strategic transformation into a global leader. During that period, he also developed the environment program at Bloomberg Philanthropies, which grew to a total of $145 million in grants under his management.

Rit served as Director of New York City’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability from 2006-2010, and led the creation and implementation of “PlaNYC: A Greener, Greater New York.” PlaNYC has been hailed as one of the world’s best urban sustainability plans, leading New York City to a 19% reduction in its carbon footprint since 2005. Prior to joining City Hall, he was a management consultant at McKinsey & Company.

Rit holds a BA, MBA, and PhD from Columbia University, and an MA from Queen’s University in Ontario. He was born in New York City, where he now lives with wife and daughter.

News & Contact

Mar 18, 2016

New York Times

Cities to Untangle Traffic Snarls, With Help From Alphabet Unit

As part of the Transportation Department competition, Sidewalk will work with the seven finalists to develop a software platform called Flow to help cities diagnose and fix congestion problems.

Feb 22, 2016

Fast Company

How Google Is Turning Cities Into R&D Labs

We spoke with Doctoroff about how the startup is defining its scope and developing the technology to tackle the challenges of 21st-century cities.

Feb 22, 2016

The Verge

Sidewalk Labs hires 'dream team' to tackle city design in the self-driving age

Google's "smart city" spin-off Sidewalk Labs just hired a team of experts whose goal will be to create a new line of technology products that can fix the many problems of city life.

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Careers at Sidewalk Labs

Check our careers page for a look at the open positions on the Sidewalk team.

Want to join our team?

For general inquiries, please call us at:

Tel: 212-373-0800

For press inquiries, please email us at:

press@sidewalklabs.com

Sidewalk Labs
100 Park Ave South
6th Floor
New York, NY 10017