Smart and intelligent city initiatives

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We are a smart city looking to be an intelligent one and our Intelligent City Strategy will guide us on this path.

Smart cities use technology to improve the way cities work. Intelligent cities use technology to create better cities, improving the lives of people within them.

Our Intelligent City vision is to find ways to improve the lives of residents through access to online services, technological innovation and collaborative problem-solving, creating local solutions to local problems. 

Our community is full of smart, talented people who are already working on ways to make Kelowna a better city and we want to find ways to work with and support them. To learn more, check out our interactive Intelligent City Strategy executive summary.

Collaborate with us

If you are working on creative solutions to some of our shared challenges in the community (particularly those listed in Council’s priorities), there may be an opportunity for us to work together!

Email the Intelligent City team

Current intelligent city initiatives

These are just a few of the things that we are currently working on:

  • Intelligent City Strategy – involving internal & external stakeholders – our Intelligent City Strategy (presented to Council on Jan. 20, 2020) guides how we will become an intelligent city, including a short- and longer-term roadmap. Supports multiple Council priorities.
  • CCTV registry pilot program - through this pilot program, businesses in the DKA boundaries can voluntarily register their security camera location(s) and contact information with the City through a secure database. This will provide Kelowna RCMP with quicker access to potential sources of video evidence. 
  • Chatbots – City online service – development of chat bots (website plug-in using artificial intelligence) that can help quickly and efficiently connect residents, businesses and visitors to the information that they are looking for. Supports the Corporate result that services, processes and business activities are transformed.
  • Online service improvements – City services, involving internal & external stakeholders – review and redevelopment of our online services (e.g. e-Subscribe, the City's email notifications) using service design thinking, which involves learning about a service from the perspective of two types of users: those who use the service and those that provide it. Based on deep understanding of these two user groups, we find ways to improve the service through co-creation, iterative development and ongoing feedback. Check out this short interactive story about service design, in honour of #ServiceDesignDay (June 1, 2019). Supports the Corporate result that services, processes and business activities are transformed.
Our story as a Smart City
Smart city history

In 2018, we became an Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) Smart21 Communities finalist, recognized for our efforts to “humanize data for [our] people, businesses and institutions – from driving economic growth to reducing inequality, increasing sustainability to improving urban planning.” And in 2019, ICF ranked Kelowna 19th in innovation.

Also in 2018, we also submitted an application for Infrastructure Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge that focused on housing and homelessness. While we didn’t make it to the next round, the Journey Home Taskforce was created and is currently working on initiatives that look to improve outcomes for some of our most vulnerable in the community.

Why do we want to be an intelligent city?

While being a smart city has allowed various City departments to improve efficiencies, reduce costs and improve departmental outcomes, we are facing increasingly complex issues. Complex issues often require collaborative solutions… we can’t do it alone!

Partnerships between public, private, not-for-profits and academic institutions have the potential to develop local solutions to local issues by sharing knowledge, expertise, resources and costs.

Backed by the community

The idea of improved collaboration was supported by the community during our outreach with residents in 2018 through the Imagine Kelowna public engagement. Residents expressed a vision for Kelowna, recognizing that inclusivity and diversity make us a stronger and more innovative and that local problems often require local solutions. The wellbeing of Kelowna depends on the shared responsibility of individuals, businesses, government and community organizations coming together to solve some of the complex issues facing our community.

How will we get there?

To guide our way to becoming an intelligent city, we have developed an Intelligent City Strategy in consultation with internal (City staff) and external (community) stakeholders.

Our Intelligent City vision is to find ways to improve the lives of residents through access to online services, technological innovation and collaborative problem-solving, creating local solutions to local problems.

Our strategy follows four principles: collaborative, innovative, connected and responsible.

Below is a high-level view of the draft themes and strategies we will undertake to become an intelligent city.

StrategySub-strategies
1. Intelligent foundation: Create a digital & intelligent City

We will work towards this strategy by:

  • automating and digitizing business and service delivery, and
  • enabling data driven decision-making to guide our work to create a better city.
2. Intelligent collaboration: Foster a collaborative network that leverages technology to solve complex city problems

We will work towards this strategy by:

  • engaging and empowering our staff, community and stakeholders to collaborate on shared problems, and
  • creating digital equity and improved connectivity.
3. Intelligent catalyst: Provide guidance and tools to help others meet their priorities

We will work towards this strategy by:

  • developing the processes and mechanisms for City departments and the community at large to innovate.