Alliance Supports National Smart Cities Challenge
In March 2017 the Government of Canada introduced Budget 2017 (http://www.budget.gc.ca/2017/docs/plan/budget-2017-en.pdf), which proposes to create a new “challenge” based Smart Cities program. Under a new Impact Canada Fund, a Smart Cities Challenge will be launched with $300 million over 11 years. The funding will be allocated through Infrastructure Canada based on a nationwide, merit-based competition, with details yet to be released.
An excerpt of Budget 2017 is provided below.
ENCOURAGING INNOVATION WITH THE SMART CITIES CHALLENGE
Canadians who live in urban communities face many challenges, from traffic congestion that takes time away from family and friends to poor-quality air that can make it difficult to enjoy all that cities have to offer.
Smart infrastructure investments can help to address current problems while helping Canada’s cities prepare for the challenges ahead. To encourage cities to adopt new and innovative approaches to city-building, the Government proposes to provide Infrastructure Canada with $300 million over 11 years to launch a Smart Cities Challenge Fund.
Modelled on a similar competition in the U.S., the Smart Cities Challenge would invite cities across Canada to develop Smart Cities Plans, together with local government, citizens, businesses and civil society. Participants will create ambitious plans to improve the quality of life for urban residents, through better city planning and implementation of clean, digitally connected technology including greener buildings, smart roads and energy systems, and advanced digital connections for homes and businesses.
Winning cities will be selected through a nationwide, merit-based competition, facilitated by the Government’s new Impact Canada Fund (see Chapter 1). To accelerate innovation further, infrastructure and transportation will also be eligible sectors under the Government’s commitment to support business-led innovation “superclusters” that have the greatest potential to accelerate economic growth (see Chapter 1).
The Smart City Alliance has advocated strongly for this commitment by the Government of Canada, and is supportive of the program. The Alliance will also continue to monitor program developments and provide updates as required.