Karim Khalifa
Director, Buildings Innovation
Sidewalk Labs, New York City

Cities around the world are wrestling with urban problems associated with rapid growth—from rising costs of living, access to housing and longer commutes. How can cities be built that benefit everyone? Focusing on building innovation practices, Sidewalk Labs is leading the development of the first-ever neighborhood built entirely of mass timber—a burgeoning material that is just as strong and fire-resistant as steel or concrete but dramatically more sustainable—to address some of the toughest challenges.

Sidewalk Labs’ proposal for Toronto’s Eastern Waterfront also includes a mass timber factory, which would not only accelerate project timelines by up to 35 percent without compromising safety or design excellence, but also help to catalyze an industry focused on sustainable construction and building technologies in Ontario that could be applied in cities across the globe. An innovative approach to building design that uses mass timber can help urban environments progress one step closer to sustainable, accessible and affordable housing for all.