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Saskatoon Residents: Rise to the Smart Cities Challenge!

For immediate release: March 19, 2018 - 10:00am
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The City is reaching out to residents for ideas on how to improve our lives through innovation, data, and technology as part of the Smart Cities Challenge.

“Our City is filled with talented people.  This is our chance to bring people and ideas together to help tackle some of the complex social issues that are affecting the health and safety of families and neighbourhoods,” says Mayor Charlie Clark.

Recently launched by the Government of Canada, the Smart Cities Challenge asks communities to share their best ideas for improving the lives of their residents by becoming a smart city.  Simply explained, smart cities are those that use technology and data to improve livability and opportunities for the city and its residents.

“Saskatoon has a chance to lead the way on quality of life improvements for our residents,” says Lynne Lacroix, Director of Recreation and Community Development.  “We can do this by using technology in ways that support existing and new work in our community and beyond.”

The first step in the application process is to develop a Challenge Statement that defines the outcomes a community aims to achieve.

The focus for Saskatoon’s Challenge Statement is to enhance community safety and wellbeing.  The Challenge Statement must be developed based on the input of a city’s residents, so the City has begun a process of reaching out to individuals, families, community organizations, institutions, and the technology sector.

Saskatoon residents are being asked for their ideas on how to address the challenges our city faces as they relate to community safety and wellbeing.  Be bold, put on your thinking caps and rise to the challenge!

Everyone can get involved by visiting saskatoon.ca/engage on or before Monday, April 2, 2018, and answering four questions to participate in a community-wide brainstorm to narrow down key themes for the Challenge Statement.

“When residents can solve the problems they face, they are far more empowered and engaged in the community and have a strong sense of belonging and purpose,” Lacroix says.

The City is partnering with the Central Urban Métis Federation, Saskatoon Health Authority, Saskatoon Police Service, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Saskatoon Tribal Council, United Way, and University of Saskatchewan in the development of the Smart Cities Challenge Application.

Challenge Details
The Challenge has three rounds of competition.  Saskatoon has until Tuesday, April 24, 2018, to submit a Challenge Statement application in the first round.  The Government of Canada will announce round one finalists in Summer 2018, and each finalist will receive $250,000 to further develop their ideas into a full proposal.  Winners will be announced in Spring 2019 and will have their ideas funded through a potential $10 million prize (Eligible Category:  Communities with Populations under 500,000).

Visit the Government of Canada's Challenge website to learn more about Smart Cities, and join the conversation on Twitter with hashtag #smartcitiesCanada.