Smart Communities, Smart Cities

B.C. Smart Communities

Smart communities (also known as “smart cities”) are communities that use connected technology and data to improve their infrastructure. For example, city planners may monitor traffic and transportation systems for data trends and then implement systems to reduce travel times, bottle necks and accidents.

Smart communities have the potential to greatly enhance community life – how people respond to climate change, how they move around, how they earn a living, how they learn and are empowered to participate in society, and how they create safe and welcoming public spaces.

The smart communities global market is predicted to have a value of up to $1.6 trillion by 2020 and presents an opportunity for exports and economic growth (source: Bank of America Merrill Lynch -“21st Century Cities: Global Smart Cities Primer Picks”, May 2017).

The Provincial Smart Communities Pilot

B.C. is home to a number of organizations that support smart communities, including the provincial Crown agency, the BC Innovation Council, and its regional accelerators.

The Province is looking to support B.C. communities in their adoption of smart community technologies. This will also support B.C.’s tech and innovation sector, improve municipal infrastructure, and contribute to economic development.

To ensure smart communities become more than a concept, and that all communities benefit from new technologies and innovation, the Government of B.C. has developed a Smart Communities pilot program.  

Smart Communities pilot project participants will build upon current infrastructure and support one or more of the following:

  • Economic diversity and growth
  • Energy efficiency and climate change mitigation
  • Engaged citizens
  • Efficient transportation and mobility
  • Community resiliency and safety

To learn more about the pilot program, please contact the Smart Communities Pilot Project Team.

Federal Smart Cities Challenge

The Government of Canada has issued a $300-million Smart Cities Challenge to communities across Canada, urging them to use data and connected technologies to address their most pressing problems. To learn about the federal Smart Cities Challenge, visit Infrastructure Canada’s website.