If chosen as the winning submission, both cities would demonstrate the path to safer, healthier and more socially connected communities while reducing emissions, improving transportation efficiency and enhancing livability in the face of rapid growth and traffic congestion.
In January of this year, the cities of Vancouver and Surrey teamed up to apply for the top prize of $50 million in smart cities project funding from Infrastructure Canada as part of the Smart Cities Challenge.
Together, both cities undertook extensive public engagement to ensure the proposal reflected the values and priorities of both communities. Being a digital challenge, an online platform was launched to generate ideas directly from citizens, entrepreneurs, innovators, start-ups and businesses at smartertogether.ca.
In total, more than 70,000 interactions took place with people joining the platform, casting votes, completing surveys and responding to social media. Staff from both cities also held in-person visits at community centres, libraries and other public spaces.
In the business community, both cities met with start-ups and meet-ups in the tech sector as well as allies and partners in the corporate world. Municipal experts, staff teams, business units, advisory boards and engaged youth also contributed to the discussions.
After four months of conversations, both communities made it clear that mobility should be the focus. As a result, the final challenge statement and submission to Infrastructure Canada demonstrates how smart transportation, connections and access will make the cities of Surrey and Vancouver, and the rest of Canada, smarter together.
Engagement by the numbers:
- 70,000 interactions
- 58,000 person social reach
- 7,500 web visits
- 2,600 votes
- 2,200 completed surveys
- 250+ ideas submitted
Infrastructure Canada will begin the process of screening all submitted applications for eligibility, and will post the summaries on their website this summer. In line with that, the cities of Vancouver and Surrey will post their full submission application online.