A Sidewalk Talk Q&A with Replica CEO Nick Bowden.

This Sidewalk Talk Q&A is part of a series of conversations with leaders at Sidewalk Labs incubated and portfolio companies.

Replica is a Sidewalk Labs spinout company that makes complex, rapidly changing urban environments easier to understand through the power of data — data that can inform city planning in a far more responsive way than it currently does.

“If you went back and looked at any city-wide or region-wide comprehensive plan from the year 2000, which oftentimes were aimed at a 2030 or 2040 kind of horizon, you wouldn’t find any mention of Uber, or Lyft, or ride-sharing…


A Sidewalk Talk Q&A with Cityblock Health’s Co-Founder and President, Dr. Toyin Ajayi

This Sidewalk Talk Q&A is part of a series of conversations with leaders at Sidewalk Labs incubated and portfolio companies.

Cityblock Health is a Sidewalk Labs spinout company that delivers personalized health and social care to low-income neighborhoods — and when the pandemic arrived in New York City, the Cityblock team knew their customers would be hardest hit.

“In the communities where we’re present, we serve some of the most high-risk and marginalized individuals,” says Dr. Toyin Ajayi, Cityblock’s Co-Founder and President. Ajayi spoke to Sidewalk Talk editors Eric Jaffe and Vanessa Quirk about all the ways the Cityblock…


A Sidewalk Talk Q&A with Ori CEO Hasier Larrea.

This Sidewalk Talk Q&A is part of a series of conversations with leaders at Sidewalk Labs incubated and portfolio companies.

For many city residents, the idea of using robotic furniture to transform and expand one’s living space used to sound like a luxury. But after Covid-19 hit, making the most of home spaces became a necessity.

“The typical person living in a small apartment in New York, before the pandemic, they could end up rationalizing the idea of living in a tiny, dysfunctional shoebox,” says Hasier Larrea, CEO of transformable space company Ori. “All of a sudden, all of…


A Sidewalk Talk Q&A with Cavnue Chief Safety Officer Nicole Neeson

Last year, SIP — a company spun out of Sidewalk Labs that’s focused on the future of infrastructure — launched Cavnue, whose mission is to build the world’s most advanced roads. This is the third in a series of three Sidewalk Talk interviews with Cavnue leaders. You can find our interview with CTO Jaime Waydo here and with CEO Tyler Duvall here.

Nicole Neeson isn’t just the Head of External Affairs at Cavnue, she’s also the Chief Safety Officer — and that was an intentional decision. “Those two pieces go together for me,” Neeson told Sidewalk Talk editors Eric…


A Sidewalk Talk Q&A with Cavnue’s CTO Jaime Waydo about the missing piece in the self-driving puzzle.

Last year, SIP — a company spun out of Sidewalk Labs that’s focused on the future of infrastructure — launched Cavnue, whose mission is to build the world’s most advanced roads. This is the first in a series of three Sidewalk Talk interviews with Cavnue leaders.

Jaime Waydo is an engineer with a mission: to bring mobility to everybody. She has focused her career — including eight years at Google X and Apple — on the one technology she believes will bring that mission to fruition: self-driving cars. …


Photograph of a construction worker working on a timber building. In the background there are houses and high-rises.
Photograph of a construction worker working on a timber building. In the background there are houses and high-rises.
Crest mass-timber construction site in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Image: James MacDonald/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

A Sidewalk Talk Q&A with mass timber pioneer Susan Jones

In 2011, Seattle-based architect Susan Jones decided to fulfill a longtime dream. She, with the help of her design firm atelierjones, was going to design her own home — but not just any home. “I really wanted to do something experimental,” something sustainable, Jones explained, that could “inspire, potentially, new sustainable lower carbon technologies that will, who knows, maybe even change construction in the US.”

With that “modest goal” in mind, Jones got to work researching, and she soon came across a low-carbon, prefabricated material that would change her practice: mass timber. Since building her home in 2015, one of…


Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, one of the most digitally enabled places in the world. (Image: Julius Jansson / Unsplash)

Digital transformation advisor Anett Numa explains that Estonia had been “preparing for the crisis for the past 25 years.”

The small Baltic nation of Estonia is one of the most digitally advanced countries in the world. Estonians do everything online — from filing taxes, to launching a business, even voting. This powerful digital infrastructure left the country perfectly positioned for the all-remote lifestyle that Covid-19 demanded.

“We already had 99 percent of the services already available online, and we signed all of our documents online,” says Anett Numa, a digital transformation advisor at the e-Estonia Briefing Centre. “We don’t really use papers here.”

Anett’s job entails helping governments around the world understand how they can achieve a digital transformation…


Architect Wanda Dalla Costa stands in front of a shade structure that she built for the Gila River Indian Community. (Image: Selina Martinez / Arizona State University)

A Sidewalk Talk Q&A with Phoenix-based architect Wanda Dalla Costa.

For Phoenix-based architect Wanda Dalla Costa, energy efficiency isn’t just a matter of sustainable design — it’s also a matter of climate justice. As a result of rising temperatures, she says, Phoenix has suffered 1,500 heat-related deaths over a 12-year period. Dalla Costa has seen these trends fall hardest on Indigenous communities living near the city.

“We should be looked at as the canary birds,” says Dalla Costa, who is a member of the Saddle Lake Cree Nation, in Canada. “I often use this concept: who senses the climate changes first? And, of course, it’s often the Indigenous people. …


Transmission lines run along towers over a grassy field.
Transmission lines run along towers over a grassy field.
(Image: Unsplash user Alexandru Boicu)

Author and anthropologist Gretchen Bakke explains the 20th century hang-ups preventing a cleaner energy future.

America’s aging energy infrastructure is increasingly fragile, and it almost only ever makes the headlines when things go wrong. That was the case earlier this month, when fear of wildfires caused California’s utility company, PG&E, to shut off its power plants, leaving thousands of households in the dark. And it was the case this summer, when a “flawed connection” between pieces of equipment left the entire west side of Manhattan without electricity for hours.

But electricity infrastructure is also a remarkable example of 20th century innovation, something the anthropologist Gretchen Bakke, author of The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans…


Pop-up store in Seattle. (Image: Flickr / Trevor Dykstra)

A Q&A with the CEO of Popuphood, which brings cities and developers together to help retailers occupy once vacant spaces.

Cities around the world are grappling with a vacant storefront crisis. The causes are complex — ranging from the rise of online competitors, to the role of private equity firms, to, of course, rising rents.

Sarah Filley is intimately familiar with these challenges. The Oakland-based artist is the co-founder and CEO of Popuphood, a social enterprise and retail incubator (the first in the U.S.) that helps pop-ups to become permanent fixtures in urban communities. …

Vanessa Quirk

Editorial Manager, @SidewalkLabs. Former @MetropolisMag @ArchDaily @TowCenter @CharlieRose. NYC. Traveler. Singer. Podcast addict. https://vmquirk.contently.com

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