- Kingston, Ontario in Canada announced a public-private partnership with Bell, Canada’s largest communications company, to employ the company’s technology and help make Kingston a smart city.
- "This partnership with Bell will create cutting-edge technology for us and put Kingston on the map as being one of the most innovative cities in Canada and a leading Smart City, while improving everyday life for the people of Kingston," Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson said in a statement.
- Initially, the pilot program will focus on energy management to help reduce the city’s carbon emissions and provide digital kiosks with Wi-Fi access, real-time event updates, charging station services, tourism promotion, remotely managed video cameras, city information and 911 emergency buttons.
This announcement comes just months after the Government of Canada announced the Smart Cities Challenge, which provided $300 million over 11 years toward a Smart Cities Challenge Fund. The initiative looks to encourage cities to improve citizens’ lives through connected technology.
And despite a population of just over 120,000 in 2016, Kingston is clearly thinking big and looking to build on success it has already had in managing emissions. According to a press release, the Kingston Climate Action Plan shows that emissions have dropped 12% since 2011. At an event on climate change earlier this year, a sign said Kingston is working to be Canada's "most sustainable city."
This partnership will provide city staff with a dashboard containing a comprehensive view of municipal services, all to help them make better decisions about how to provide services. "Municipal, provincial and federal governments realize that they can positively alter the lives of millions of urban residents with the technology and data-driven opportunities that digital transformation provides," Nigel Wallis, International Data Corporation Canada's vice president of Internet of Things and Industries, said in a statement.
Becoming smarter is not just confined to large cities and major metropolitan areas. With the Canadian government’s significant investment in smart cities, more municipalities of a similar size could move in a similar direction, like their counterparts in the United States.
And in a similar vein, the cities of Vancouver and Surrey in British Columbia announced they are submitting a joint application for the smart cities challenge, showing how this contest is starting to take off north of the border.