With a focus on boldness and innovation, the City of Brampton is set to enter the Government of Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge.

Open to all Canadian municipalities, local or regional governments and Indigenous communities, the Smart Cities Challenge is a competition that encourages communities to adopt a smart cities approach to improve the lives of their residents through innovation, data and connected technology. Finalists will receive support to develop their Smart Cities proposals. Winning communities will be awarded prize money based on population size to help implement them. If selected the winner, Brampton could be eligible for up to $50 million.

A smart cities approach means achieving meaningful outcomes for residents through the use of data and connected technology. The City of Brampton actively follows that approach while working to build a Future Ready city, with a continued focus on thinking big to fuel the community’s vibrancy. Some current smart cities initiatives include:
 The Brampton GeoHub, an award-winning open data platform and collaborative technology that makes it easier for people to access public information. The GeoHub features initiative-driven tools that help increase transparency and foster innovation.

 By-law Enforcement mobile inspections, enabling quicker response times for Enforcement officers. Enforcement officers have an app linked with their service request application, which allows them to update service requests with notes and photographs from their smartphones while in the field. This allows for more inspections per day.

 Computer-Aided Dispatching (CAD) and Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) systems on Brampton Transit buses. This real-time technology provides customers with a reliable, informative and convenient public transit system with real-time next bus information available online and by email, text and phone. Transit Signal Priority technology is also equipped on buses, which allows a bus to lengthen a green signal or shorten a red signal at certain intersections, resulting in enhanced schedule reliability.

Integral to winning the Smart Cities Challenge is understanding residents’ current issues through public engagement. As part of the Planning Vision framework, the city has undertaken an unprecedented public engagement program, engaging more than 11,000 residents and achieving 420,000 corporate impressions through social media. This fulsome public engagement program is also complemented by the 2016 Youth Engagement Survey, 2017 Citizen Engagement Survey and other recent demographic statistics. The outputs from those data sources will be built upon in partnership with the community to develop a challenge statement.

In developing its Smart Cities Challenge proposal, the city will continue to actively engage residents to determine how best we can make an impact on the people who call Brampton home.

“This competition, like the Amazon H2Q bid, is another exciting opportunity for our city to become a leader in innovation and excellence,” said Mayor Linda Jeffrey. “Over the last year, we have undertaken unprecedented public engagement—this has helped us better understand and improve the lives of our residents.”

Challenge submissions are due April 24. An independent jury will select finalists by summer 2018. Finalists will receive a $250,000 grant to develop their final proposal, which is to be submitted winter 2018-19. Winners will be announced spring 2019.