First search, now...cities? A new piece over at Newsweek asks readers to imagine themselves in a privatized metropolis owned and operated by tech titan Google. As the story points out, it's less of a stretch than it seems: Over the last few years, the company has in select cities—including Provo, Utah; Austin; and Kansas City, Missouri—rolled out a well-received proprietary high-speed-Internet service called Fiber, so it's clear the company is moving toward greater influence in the urban realm. And Google's recently announced complex, being co-designed by Bjarke Ingels Group and Thomas Heatherwick Studio, looks like it will be a city all its own when work is finished.
The author concedes that citizens of Western nations, where cities run relatively well by certain metrics, are less likely to jump ship for Googleville and suggests that the most enticed by the idea may be the citizens of developing nations. Considering the innumerable political and bureaucratic hurdles Google would face, to say nothing of the ethical quagmire inherent in any Separate City scenario, we'd say this is a ways off from reality.