Smart Cities Challenge

Kelowna is up for the challenge!

We are working on a Smart Cities Challenge application in a bid to win up to $50 million to improve our residents’ quality of life.

The Smart Cities Challenge is a federal government competition open to all municipalities, local or regional governments, and Indigenous communities across Canada.

The federal government says the goal of the challenge is to “empower communities to address local issues residents face through new partnerships, using a smart cities approach.” 

What is a smart cities approach?

The following information comes from the challenge applicant guide.

A smart cities approach aims to achieve meaningful outcomes for residents by leveraging the fundamental benefits that data and connected technology have to offer:

  • Openness: When communities make their data truly accessible, usable, and barrier-free, their decision-making processes become transparent, empowering citizens and strengthening the relationship between residents and public organizations.
  • Integration: Data and connected technology empower communities to break down silos that exist within local governments and public organizations.
  • Transferability: When tools and technological approaches are open-source, transparent, and standardized, they can be used by communities across the country, no matter their size or capacity.
  • Collaboration: Connected technology enables communities to bring traditional and non-traditional partners together to collaborate.

The application deadline is April 24, 2018. Finalists will receive $250,000 in support to develop their smart cities proposals. Winning communities will be awarded with prize money to help implement them.

Prize structure
  • One prize of up to $50 million is open to all communities, regardless of population
  • Two prizes of up to $10 million each are open to all communities with populations under 500,000 people
  • One prize of up to $5 million is open to all communities with populations under 30,000 people
Grant criteria

The City must consider the following criteria as we develop the application:

  • The challenge must be ambitious, measurable, and achievable through the proposed use of data and connected technology
  • The use of data and connected technology must achieve a meaningful and measurable outcome (or outcomes) for residents
  • Outcomes must reflect the true needs of the community
  • Challenge is, or will be, open, interoperable, scalable, and replicable to other parts of Canada
  • The formation of partnerships is necessary for the success of the proposal

Based on the extensive community consultation completed through the Imagine Kelowna process, the 2017 Citizens Survey and Council priorities, City staff are working with partners in the community to refine the challenge scope, consider all possible corresponding data and explore integrated technology possibilities.