Smart Cities Challenge helping shape Canada’s communities of the future

News release

Smart Cities Challenge Discussion

Toronto, Ontario, November 9, 2018—Investing in innovation is a key driver of economic growth and essential to building a modern, resilient economy for Canadians. Strategic investments in public infrastructure—including innovative and transformative solutions to real-world problems—build dynamic communities while creating good jobs that help grow the middle class.

Today at the Future Cities Canada Summit, Marco Mendicino, Member of Parliament for Eglinton-Lawrence and Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable François Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, spoke about how the Government of Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge has already began transforming the country. This national competition encourages communities of all sizes to find innovative solutions that use data and connected technology to improve the quality of life of their residents.

The two-day summit brought together urban leaders and city builders to focus on using new and emerging technologies to build better communities. All twenty finalists of the Smart Cities Challenge, along with the jury members, participated in the event and shared experiences. Check out photos of the finalists and jury members in action through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

The finalists also had the opportunity to meet with the jury, present their ideas and receive feedback as they prepare their final proposals, due by March 5, 2019. The four winning communities will be announced in spring 2019.

The winners will have the opportunity to address community problems by testing and adopting innovations, creating tailored-to-Canada solutions that could be adopted by communities across the country. For example, solutions to lift residents out of energy poverty, reduce the rate of diabetes in vulnerable communities, and improve transportation safety through autonomous vehicles and smart technologies, could be introduced in other communities across Canada.

Additionally, the Challenge will help businesses with promising innovations to connect with communities and present their ideas, creating the ability to test and develop their products and services at the community level, whether they are in transportation, housing, public health or the environment.

During the summit, the finalists also had the opportunity to meet representatives from Evergreen and OpenNorth, the not-for-profit organizations that are receiving funding through the Challenge’s Community Support Program. This Program funds activities that provide advice and capacity-building support to communities across the country, including communities participating in the Challenge competitions, as they explore and implement smart cities approaches.

Quotes

“The Government of Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge will help find solutions that improve the lives of Canadians, while driving innovations that create new jobs, skills and business opportunities for Canadians to participate in the economy of the future. This national challenge is not only spurring the use of new technologies, but connecting communities as they form new relationships and new partnerships across the country.”

The Honourable François Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

“What makes the Smart Cities Challenge so exciting is that the benefits will extend beyond just the finalists and winners. Communities across Canada were asked to develop innovative solutions to some of the biggest issues Canadians face in their day-to-day lives. The solutions to these challenges can be reproduced across Canada, benefiting all Canadians and improving their quality of life.”

Marco Mendicino, Member of Parliament for Eglinton-Lawrence and Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable François Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

Quick facts

  • As part of the Smart Cities Challenge, Twenty finalists have been selected to go on to compete for four prizes:

    • one prize of up to $50 million, available to all communities;
    • two prizes of up to $10 million, available to all communities below 500,000 residents; and
    • one prize of up to $5 million, available to all communities below 30,000 residents.
  • Alongside the Challenge, the Government of Canada has launched the Community Support Program, which aims to foster a culture of change, continuous improvement and innovation in Canadian communities. Under this program, not-for-profit organization Evergreen is delivering advisory and capacity building support measures aimed at increasing communities’ capacity to adopt smart cities approaches.

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Contacts

Ann-Clara Vaillancourt
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
613-697-3778
ann-clara.vaillancourt@canada.ca

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Infrastructure Canada
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Toll free: 1-877-250-7154
Email: infc.media.infc@canada.ca
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