Despite the innovative character of the proposed initiative, some deficiencies in the project can be identified. From a political standpoint, the new infrastructure and especially the proposed digital development of the area allow control over citizens’ life to city authorities. The critiques of the project argue that “the project pursues aims of sustainability through the systematization of everyday life, creating a space where the activities are monitored” which means the governmental regulation of citizens’ lives (McCord & Becker, 2019, p. 3). Moreover, the Smart City presupposes “control over the  infrastructure by a single dominating firm” that makes Sidewalk, the company that operates the project, a monopolist in shaping the area’s environment (McCord & Becker, 2019, p. 7). Thus, from the environmental standpoint, Sidewalk can disregard nature protecting issues. Finally, from the economic standpoint, the project is going to be rather costly considering the limited benefits it offers to its prospective citizens.
To eliminate the above-given deficiencies, it is recommended to introduce competition into the project of the waterfront development. To reduce the monopoly of Sidewalk, other developmental companies should gain access to forming the environment in which prospective citizens will live. Decisions of ownership and jurisdiction over Smart City infrastructure should be made collectively with clear distribution of responsibilities among the actors involved. This measure will also be instrumental in protecting the environment and wisely using waterfront natural resources as it will allow transparency into environmental decision-making. From a political standpoint, the ability of the government to closely monitor citizens’ life should be limited since it leads to the breach of privacy issues. Indeed, while the proposed digital environment offers many benefits measures should be taken to protect people’s right to a private life. Finally, from an economic standpoint, the costs of the project can be curtailed through introducing competitiveness into the project of waterfront development.
McCord, C., & Becker, C. (2019). Sidewalk and Toronto: Critical Systems Heuristics and the Smart City. arXiv preprint arXiv:1906.02266.