Community Engagement

Smart Cities Challenge Idea Generation

Feb 26, 2018, 13:20 PM


We want to compete in Infrastructure Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge but need your help to come up with a great idea.

The Smart Cities Challenge is an initiative for communities to address issues through community partnerships using data and connected technology. 

There are two prize categories we could aim for:

  • One prize of $50 million
  • One of two prizes of $10 million

In February and March 2018, we reached out to the community to tell us:

  1. What issue in our community do you think is most pressing, and
  2. How can we solve it or make improvements using data and technology?

The following ideas were submitted* to us through email and Facebook:

  1. To address transit not running on time, create a MyStop Service app  to provide real-time info on transit status. Submitted by Steve Wood.
  2. To create a better appreciation of the downtown area, create an app where users can view historical photos and information on the locations they walk by in the area. Submitted by Gerry Thomasen.
  3. To address the homeless crisis in Nanaimo, create an app that provides real-time social service organization information and uses GIS data. Submitted by Patti Novak.
  4. To address issues with the layout of Nanaimo, use GPS/GIS to map out problem areas for rezoning. Submitted by Holly Frost.
  5. To address transparency in government spending, create an app that live streams public spending. Submitted by Joseph G Chandler.
  6. To increase active transportation in Nanaimo, use smart technology to develop a data collection system to help better plan future active transportation networks. Submitted by Jamie Rose.
  7. Submitted Ideas through Facebook

We will now take our ideas to Council for their endorsement on April 23, 2018. The deadline to apply for the challenge is Tuesday, April 24, 2018 which means our time is tight. But, if we get the right idea and solution to move forward with, we think we can make it work!

For more information on the Smart Cities Challenge, visit Infrastructure Canada’s website.

Some examples of how Nanaimo uses data and connected technology to be a Smart City include:

  • Free WiFi in City facilities
  • Report a park or public works problem using the Nanaimo Recycles app - download on App Store or Google Play
  • Using GPS in City vehicles to better train and encourage efficient driving practices
  • Using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to manage assets and infrastructure and provide relevant information to residents and businesses through online apps such as What's Building in My Neighbourhood.
  • Facilitating public conversations using custom eTown Hall software


Infrastructure Canada's Smart Cities Challenge

Definition of a Smart City

Idea Submission Form

* Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPPA) Information collected on this form is done so under the general authority of the Community Charter and FOIPPA, and is protected in accordance with FOIPPA.  Personal information will only be used by authorized staff to fulfill the purpose for which it was originally collected, or for a use consistent with that purpose.

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