Our Smart Cities story

How it started

In September 2017, both the City of Vancouver and the City of Surrey started gathering your bright ideas.

Vancouver and Surrey share like-minded digital strategies and Smart Cities initiatives. Being smart neighbours, we knew there was strength in working together.

In January 2018, we formally agreed to submit a joint entry called #SmarterTogether.

To reach a diverse range of residents, plus tap the knowledge of the tech industry, we initiated:

  • An interactive website with a total 7,500 visits
  • Social media conversations reaching 58,000 users
  • Surveys with a total 2,200 completed
  • An idea session with nearly 250 graduates and tech professionals
  • In-person multilingual teams at community centres, libraries, and other public spaces
  • An advisory panel with 13 influential leaders in our region
  • Multiple industry sessions tech sector businesses
  • A working group of over 70 staff from both cities

Our reach

Finding our focus

We read 250+ ideas and sorted them into six areas:

  • Mobility
  • Empowerment and inclusion
  • Environmental quality
  • Economic opportunity
  • Healthy living and recreation
  • Safety and security

We narrowed the six focus areas down to the top three, and continued the conversation.

Reinforce your unique selling proposition.

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A collaborative project of 
the City of Vancouver and the City of Surrey.

Reinforce Your Unique Selling Proposition

Describe Trip details

More than 2,600 residents and businesses voted on ideas. Nearly 40% of the ideas from residents and 50% of the ideas from businesses related to mobility. You told us mobility matters most, so we chose Mobility as our focus area.

Our communities are safer, healthier and better-connected when people can move around more easily.

Making our choice

Our challenge statement

After months of conversations, our community told us to focus on transportation, connection and access. Accordingly, our Challenge Statement focuses on mobility. It’s a guide to transforming our region—and the rest of Canada—into a better place to live, grow and get around:

Surrey and Vancouver will implement Canada’s first two collision-free multi-modal transportation corridors, leveraging autonomous vehicles and smart technologies to demonstrate the path to safer, healthier, and more socially connected communities while reducing emissions, improving transportation efficiency, and enhancing livability in the face of rapid growth and traffic congestion. #SmarterTogether

Vancouver and Surrey 
are #SmarterTogether 

BC's two largest cities have collaborated for the Smart Cities Challenge. The challenge is a digital technology competition from the Government of Canada. The prize is $50 million and Vancouver and Surrey have been selected as one of the five finalists for the top prize.

We asked British Columbians how data and connected technology can improve our community. Inspired by your ideas, we submitted a proposal.

We know the nation's most innovative digital technology solutions start right here in Vancouver and Surrey. 


"This Challenge will empower communities across the country to address local issues their residents face through new partnerships, using a smart cities approach. A smart cities approach means achieving meaningful outcomes for residents through the use of data and connected technology. This approach can be adopted by any community, big or small." - Impact Canada

Get involved

How does mobility move you? If you’re a resident, vote on an idea.

Are you a tech hive, hub, start-up, innovator, or business? Until spring 2019, submit a proposal.

Are you a resident?

Add your comments to a mobility idea, or start a new idea.

Are you a business?

Describe your app, device, platform, system, or service.

City of Vancouver and City of Surrey. © Copyright 2018. All rights reserved.

Vote on an ideaSubmit a proposal



By City of Vancouver


April 24, 2018 – Submission deadline for all entries to the Smart Cities Challenge.

Summer 2018 – Impact Canada announces the finalists. Each finalist receives $250,000 to develop a final proposal. Impact Canada will post all the entries online.

Winter 2018 – Submission deadline for finalists. If the City of Vancouver and City of Surrey reach this stage, our submission will include design, planning, and project management. It will be ready-to-implement with progress milestones and measurable outcomes. It will list organizations that will partner with us.

Spring 2019 – Impact Canada announces the winner.

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Stay current on our progress

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View our application