The City of Richmond has been named as a finalist in the Smart Cities Challenge. Twenty finalists were announced on Friday by federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Amarjeet Sohi.
“This is a tremendous honour and we are very excited about the next phase of the competition,” said Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “We believe our proposal for an Intelligent Operation Hub is of both local and national importance and offers huge opportunities to improve our residents’ overall quality of life, while ensuring our community and economy are resilient in the face of any level of emergency.”
As a finalist, Richmond will now receive $250,000 to support development of a more detailed business case proposal to be submitted later this year. In its category, Richmond is competing against nine other finalists for one of two $10 million prizes.
Richmond’s Smart Cities Challenge submission has proposed creation of an Intelligent Operation Hub that will seamlessly integrate data and coordinate emergency response by all levels of government. Existing and new data streams and asset management platforms would be linked across jurisdictions to effectively respond to incidents that could be as small as traffic congestion due to a rain event, or as big as a major earthquake. This initiative will enhance the daily lives of citizens, while improving community resilience to major events and protecting critical local and national infrastructure in Richmond.
The Smart Cities Challenge is a pan-Canadian competition open to communities of all sizes, including municipalities, regional governments and Indigenous communities. The Challenge encourages communities to adopt a smart cities approach to improve the lives of their residents through innovation, data and connected technology. More than 200 submissions were received from across the country in all categories and finalists were selected by a hand-picked national jury.
“I am proud to see all the effort that communities have put into engaging with residents and in developing their Smart Cities Challenge proposals,” said The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. “I challenged community leaders to be bold and think outside-the-box, and I am pleased to see that they answered the call through the innovative ideas they submitted. These new ideas will result in positive outcomes for Canada’s middle class and improve people’s quality of life. I am thrilled at the meaningful, lasting and positive outcomes that this Challenge has already created for communities thus far, and look forward to seeing the final proposals.”
Richmond’s proposed submission will build upon technical innovations already started through the City’s Digital Strategy. Through this initiative, the City has enhanced customer service and efficiency through introduction of a variety of new mobile applications and new and enhanced e-services offered through the City’s website; including MyRichmond, a recently launched customizable web portal that residents can use to manage their interactions with the City through a single access point. Other strategy initiatives include significantly expanded free public access to Wi-Fi at a variety of public spaces, expanded use of digital documents versus paper and expansion of the City’s fibre optic network and creation of an innovative Digital Nervous Ecosystem that integrates many of the City’s systems to enable better customer service and information for our customers.