May 6, 2019

Community Solutions Network hosts its first Idea Camp on open smart cities

Community leaders address ways to leverage data and technology for local benefit; Ottawa, ON - May 15, 2019

(TORONTO, ON – May 7, 2019) – The Community Solutions Network, a program of Future Cities Canada, brings together municipal staff, Indigenous leaders and senior staff from across sectors for its inaugural Idea Camp. The regional event, led by Evergreen in partnership with OpenNorth, aims to build capacity in the areas of open data, governance and public engagement. Idea Camp participants will learn about emerging trends, issues, and approaches in open smart cities, and gain access to practical toolkits and other relevant programs that can support the implementation of local projects. The first in a series of six regional-based Idea Camps takes place on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 in Ottawa, ON.

“Residents must be at the centre of smart city decisions,” said Martin Canning, Executive Director, Smart Cities at Evergreen. “The Idea Camp combines expert training, peer-to-peer learning and local case studies for participants to access the tools and practical concepts to advance their work. Idea Camps offer a unique opportunity to learn from others across the region.”

Participants for the Ottawa Idea Camp include municipal staff, Indigenous leaders and senior staff of organizations and communities, and also represent some of the Smart Cities Challenge finalists, as well as communities from across the region. The event features some of the leading minds in the area of open smart cities, including Nasma Ahmed, Director of the Digital Justice Lab, Jean-Noé Landry, Executive Director of OpenNorth, Barbara Swartzentruber, Executive Director of Intergovernmental Relations, Policy & Open Government at the City of Guelph, Darrell Bridge, Senior Data Analytics Strategist & Open Data Lead at the City of Ottawa and David Fewer, Director of CIPPI, the Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic at the Centre for Law, Technology and Society at the University of Ottawa.

“Within the smart cities landscape, we need to go beyond viewing technology as a tool to be leveraged, regardless of whether it is for social good. Technologies go beyond that, shaping residents and affecting organizational process and culture,” said Jean-Noé Landry, Executive Director of OpenNorth.  “OpenNorth’s approach, called the Open Smart City, ensures that smart cities remain open and accessible for communities of all sizes and in all manners of implementation, from public engagement to data interoperability.”

Idea Camp is part of a collection of knowledge-sharing events organized by the Community Solutions Network, a new platform for communities across the country to connect and build a national centre of excellence in open smart cities. A program of Future Cities Canada, the Network is led by Evergreen, with technical partner OpenNorth and partners across Canada, to bring knowledge, expertise, experience and guidance to municipal and community leaders to build internal capacity and navigate the open smart cities landscape.

The Community Solutions Network supports communities of all sizes – big, mid-sized, Indigenous, small and northern – by connecting them to other communities across the country and with partners and cross-sector stakeholders. Through an advisory service and a series of event-based programs, such as Idea Camps, Collision Days, Roundtables and the 2019 Future Cities Canada Summit, the Network provides knowledge, lessons learned and best practices to build awareness about emerging open smart cities issues (e.g. data management, privacy and security) and experiences in Canada and around the world.

About the Community Solutions Network:

In the fall of 2018, the Government of Canada announced that Evergreen was selected to receive up to $4.6 million in funding over two years from the Smart Cities Community Support Program to provide knowledge, expertise, experience and the guidance communities of all sizes need to build internal capacity and navigate the smart cities landscape. As the project lead, Evergreen is working with OpenNorth and partners who will also support current finalists and future applicants of the Smart Cities Challenge in advancing their thinking, developing strong proposals.


For details on the Community Solutions Network and other Future Cities Canada programs, please visit and the Community Solutions Portal For the latest information follow @FutureCitiesCA.

For media information, please contact:  

Renee Tratch | Sr. Manager, Public Relations| Evergreen | 416-596-1495 X 273

Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview Avenue, Suite 300, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 3X8


Future Cities Canada is a national cross-sector initiative with the mission to accelerate innovation to transform cities for the benefit of all. Drawing on the expertise of its founding organizations – The McConnell Foundation, TD Bank Group, Evergreen, Maison de l’innovation sociale and Community Foundations of Canada – and together with a diverse and growing network of partners, Future Cities Canada collectively strives to address the challenges facing cities and city-dwellers to reimagine cities that are equitable, regenerative and prosperous.

Evergreen is dedicated to making cities flourish. Since 1991, the national not-for-profit has been hard at work transforming spaces into great places so that communities can thrive. We believe that by connecting people, natural and built worlds, we can enable Canadians to do great things that will shape our cities for the better.

OpenNorth is Canada’s leading not-for-profit organization working to open up data, government, community engagement, and technologies. OpenNorth works with Canada’s most innovative and connected cities to create open smart cities. Through its interdisciplinary applied research, OpenNorth brings international practices to local communities, while connecting local communities, governments, and partners to international networks and communities of practice.

With funding provided by:

Logos for Infrastructure Canada and Canada.

Free Access

Get access to the full library of resources and connect with others by registering today.