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Canada builds centre of excellence in 'open' smart cities

A new national platform will make information about the issues and approaches associated with smart cities available and accessible to communities across the country.

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The platform aims to help communities navigate the smart city landscape
The platform aims to help communities navigate the smart city landscape

Future Cities Canada has announced a new platform for communities across the country to connect and build a national centre of excellence in open smart cities.

 

The Community Solutions Network programme is led by Future Cities’ Canada’s lead Evergreen, with technical partner OpenNorth and partners across Canada.

 

Navigating the smart cities landscape

 

The platform aims to bring knowledge, expertise, experience and guidance to municipal and community leaders to build internal capacity and navigate the open smart cities landscape through advisory services and event-based programmes.

 

Funded by the Smart Cities Community Support Programme of Infrastructure Canada, it runs in parallel with the Canadian government’s Smart Cities Challenge, amplifying and sustaining its impact and objectives to create more liveable, inclusive communities across the country.

 

“The Community Solutions Network is based on a Canadian vision of city building that responds to the opportunities presented by open smart cities,” said Martin Canning, executive director, smart cities at Evergreen. “In an increasingly technologically advanced world, this unique approach to smart cities can be a global example in how communities develop innovative and creative solutions.”

 

The network platform aims to support communities of all sizes – big, mid-sized, indigenous, small and northern – by connecting them to other communities across the country and with partners and cross-sector stakeholders.

“In an increasingly technologically advanced world, this unique approach to smart cities can be a global example in how communities develop innovative and creative solutions”

Through an advisory service and a series of event-based programmes, such as Idea Camps, Collision Days, roundtables and the 2019 Future Cities Canada Summit, the network will provide knowledge, lessons learned and best practices to build awareness about emerging open smart cities issues (for example, data management, privacy and security) and experiences in Canada and around the world.

 

Focusing on community-readiness

 

This spring, the network is making information about smart cities issues and approaches available and accessible to everyone and will focus on helping communities talk to the right people, and find the right partners. An advisory service is currently being offered to Smart Cities Challenge finalists with a focus on “community-readiness” resources and personalised support.

 

The network will engage with a wider group of communities, in addition to Smart Cities Challenge finalists, into spring-summer 2019. The event-based programmes will begin in late spring and will take place in regions across the country and in communities of every size.

 

“Open Smart Cities are much broader than data and connected technology,” added Jean-Noé Landry, executive director, OpenNorth. “The Community Solutions Network provides the valuable information about open smart cities issues and approaches that are accessible to everyone so that every community can adapt and execute a vision that is best for the city and its residents.”

 

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