The City of Richmond is one of 10 finalists vying for a $10 million prize from Infrastructure Canada for its Smart Cities Challenge. Announced earlier this year, the challenge is open to all local levels of government and Indigenous communities across the country to come up with a proposal outlining how the lives of residents can be enriched through innovation, data and connected technology.
The detailed proposal is scheduled to be submitted to Infrastructure Canada this coming March, and before then, the city would like public input on the current draft via a 10-minute survey on the LetsTalkRichmond.ca engagement site by Jan. 6. Other ways to submit feedback include visiting smartcity.richmond.ca and locating a Smart Cities street team that will be setting up in various spots around Richmond throughout the month.
“Richmond is excited to be a finalist in the Smart Cities Challenge. It is a great opportunity to make our community more resilient and improve quality of life for all residents. We will build upon our award-winning Digital Strategy and use the power of technology to make Richmond a truly smart city,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “Of most importance will be the creation of a successful model to integrate all levels of government, while we encourage partnerships across the private sector and academia to foster improved community resilience during major emergencies.”
One of the ideas in the draft proposal so far is an Intelligent Operations Hub serving as a link between new and existing data streams as well as asset management platforms across jurisdictions. This would allow quick response to incidents big and small, be it a traffic jam caused by severe weather or a major earthquake.
More than 200 applications were submitted — an independent panel of 13 jurors selected the finalists this past June 1 that were given a grant of $250,000 to further develop their idea. In addition to the $10 million category, designed for communities with populations under 500,000, there is an open one for $50 million, in which the cities of Vancouver and Surrey jointly applied, and one for $10 million aimed at small communities with 30,000 people or less.
To help guide the process, the city has enlisted the help of experts from other government agencies, organizations and businesses, such as Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, Vancouver International Airport Authority, Emergency Management BC, TransLink, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, BC Institute of Technology, BC Hydro, SNC-Lavalin and more.