New national platform led by Evergreen and OpenNorth supports communities to lead in open smart cities approaches
(TORONTO, ON – March 19, 2019) – The Community Solutions Network, a program of Future Cities Canada, is a new platform for communities across the country to connect and build a national centre of excellence in open smart cities. The Network, led by Future Cities Canada’s lead Evergreen, with technical partner OpenNorth and partners across Canada, brings knowledge, expertise, experience and guidance to municipal and community leaders to build internal capacity and navigate the open smart cities landscape through advisory services and event-based programs. The program is funded by the Smart Cities Community Support Program of Infrastructure Canada and runs in parallel with the Government of Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge, amplifying and sustaining its impact and objectives to create more liveable, inclusive communities across the country.
“The Community Solutions Network is based on a Canadian vision of city building that responds to the opportunities presented by open smart cities,” said Martin Canning, Executive Director, Smart Cities at Evergreen. “In an increasingly technologically advanced world, this unique approach to smart cities can be a global example in how communities develop innovative and creative solutions.”
“Open Smart Cities are much broader than data and connected technology,” said Jean-Noé Landry, Executive Director, OpenNorth. “The Community Solutions Network provides the valuable information about open smart cities issues and approaches that are accessible to everyone so that every community can adapt and execute a vision that is best for the city and its residents.”
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 will provide 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.
This spring, the Network is making information about smart cities issues and approaches available and accessible to everyone, and will focus on helping communities talk to the right people, and find the right partners. An advisory service is currently being offered to Smart Cities Challenge finalists with a focus on “community-readiness” resources and personalized support. The Network will engage with a wider group of communities, in addition to Smart Cities Challenge finalists, into spring-summer 2019. The event-based programs will begin in late spring and will take place in regions across the country and in communities of every size.
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 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
For information on the Community Support Program, please contact:
T. 613-960-9251 Toll free: 1-877-250-7154 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.