What is the Smart City Challenge?

The challenge is to use data and technology to address local issues that residents face.

It’s open to municipalities, local or regional governments, and Indigenous communities across Canada. Any community of any size should be capable of implementing proposals.

The Government of Canada   will announce the $50-million prize winner on May 14, 2019.

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.

Our reach

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 with tech sector businesses
  • A working group of over 70 staff from both cities

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.

Making our choice

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 easily.

Our final bid

On June 1, 2018, we were selected as a Smart Cities finalist.

To prepare for our final bid, we:

  • Shortlisted 81 technology project proposals from 55 vendors
  • Continued to seek input from residents and the tech industry, with:
    • 4,000+ autonomous vehicle shuttle ride demos in Surrey and Vancouver
    • Multiple brainstorming, information, and workshop sessions with tech professionals and community stakeholders
    • A 115-participant hackathon on making our streets safer

Review the smart mobility solutions we proposed

Read our final bid

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