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Future Cities Canada launches the Community Solutions Network

New national platform led by Evergreen and OpenNorth supports communities to lead in open smart cities approaches


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 livable, 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.”

Much broader than data and connected technology

“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.