A new Intelligent Operation Hub seamlessly integrating data and coordinating emergency response by all levels of government is being proposed by the City of Richmond as part of the national Smart Cities Challenge.
“Our rapidly-growing, island city is home to more than 220,000 residents and nationally important infrastructure and services,” said Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “New technologies and the integration of data streams offer us 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.”
An Intelligent Operation Hub would link together physical and technical platforms of multiple levels of government and private sector partners to enhance the reach and effectiveness of the City’s service delivery platforms. 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.
“The Smart Cities Challenge offers an exciting opportunity to build upon the work already completed through our award-winning Digital Strategy,” added Mayor Brodie. “If successful we will continue to work with residents, business and other stakeholders to further take advantage of the promise of emerging new technology.”
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.
Richmond is seeking to win one of two prizes of $10 million open to communities with populations under 500,000. Richmond’s submission has now been accepted to be considered by a hand-picked national jury. Five finalists will be selected from each prize category, and those communities will be announced sometime this summer.
To learn more about the competition and to read the City of Richmond’s full submission visit: http://smartcity.richmond.ca/.
If successful, the funds 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 My Richmond, a soon-to-be-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 vs. paper and expansion of the City’s fibre optic network and creation of an innovative Digital Nervous Ecosystem that links together data bases and other programs that previously could not communicate with each other.