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Smart Cities Challenge

Montreal at night

Imagining Tomorrow’s Montréal!

Dear Montrealers,

Montréal’s municipal administration is excited to take part in Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge.

Infrastructure Canada launched the competition on November 23, 2017, with the aim of using data and connected technologies to raise the quality of life of citizens.

This is a unique opportunity for Montrealers to play a part in improving their city by sharing ideas and projects as part of the Smart Cities Challenge.

In order to imagine tomorrow’s Montréal, I therefore invite you to identify and prioritize the key issues in our city that have the most significant impact on your quality of life.

Valérie Plante

Imagining Tomorrow’s Montréal!

Dear Montrealers,

Montréal’s municipal administration is excited to take part in Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge.

Infrastructure Canada launched the competition on November 23, 2017, with the aim of using data and connected technologies to raise the quality of life of citizens.

This is a unique opportunity for Montrealers to play a part in improving their city by sharing ideas and projects as part of the Smart Cities Challenge.

In order to imagine tomorrow’s Montréal, I therefore invite you to identify and prioritize the key issues in our city that have the most significant impact on your quality of life.

Valérie Plante

  • Co-creation day

    3 months ago
    Cr%c3%a9dit photo  sylvie tr%c3%a9panier   ville de montr%c3%a9al %2831%29

    March 21, 2018

    Our work on the Smart Cities Challenge is coming along nicely! Last Thursday, we held a co-creation day, an important step that paves the way for the final phase of the process: writing up what we’ve done in order to submit our application for the Challenge.

    To refresh your memory: In February, we launched a survey and call for projects. Those two actions combined helped us to collect a great deal of useful information (see our blog post, “Consultation Results”) that we used to develop a preliminary statement: “How can we improve Montréal’s vitality by increasing the...

    March 21, 2018

    Our work on the Smart Cities Challenge is coming along nicely! Last Thursday, we held a co-creation day, an important step that paves the way for the final phase of the process: writing up what we’ve done in order to submit our application for the Challenge.

    To refresh your memory: In February, we launched a survey and call for projects. Those two actions combined helped us to collect a great deal of useful information (see our blog post, “Consultation Results”) that we used to develop a preliminary statement: “How can we improve Montréal’s vitality by increasing the accessibility of neighbourhood services in a fair, sustainable and inclusive way?” This statement is one of the pivot points of our submission and summarizes the intentions of our application.

    Considering Montréal’s dynamic ecosystem, we decided to build Montréal’s applications on the proposals and projects that this ecosystem is able to hold. So, out of more than 230 projects that were submitted, we invited 161 project leaders to participate in co-creation. We decided to exclude service proposals to the city, as the Challenge does not justify overriding the city’s contract regulations. Some 137 projects were presented at the co-creation day. This figure is a success in and of itself.

    We worked for several weeks to prepare this event. We had several objectives, but the main intention was to find links between projects that could mutually reinforce each other. Each project, whether or not it was selected for the Challenge, would have to show the value of its participation. We wanted to use this day to refine our application’s statement and bring more meaning out of the proposals that were submitted during the call for projects.

    Without going into the details of the day’s events, we feel it is useful to explain the process we used. First, we started the day with a “speed dating” approach to break the ice and give participants an idea of the type of projects and people who were present. We had themed round tables (transportation, food, etc.) in which participants shared their projects and answered each other’s questions to clarify the impact of their project with respect to our application. These activities, which took the whole morning, helped create ties between participants and present opportunities for collaboration.

    After lunch and a visit from Mayor Valérie Plante, we began the stage of consolidating and refining these links. This time, we asked participants to team up according to impact strategies (Common, Governance, etc.) to brainstorm transversally while drawing on the ties created during the morning activities. Participants were asked to describe how these strategies helped to implement our statement and how projects could synergize to produce a greater impact. After their first brainstorming session, participants were asked to explore the work of the other groups or join another table to refine their strategies and proposals for synergies between projects. This was the objective and takeaway for the day: to reformulate projects according to the links between them, what participants learned during the day and the projects’ relationship with our statement.

    We are still re-transcribing the valuable results of the day. However, we can already say that it was a success in many respects. First of all, many participants told us that the event was significant in helping them connect with others, especially people with established networks and influence. The afternoon work session clearly brought out some very relevant ideas for the Challenge and collaborative opportunities to move projects forward. Throughout the process, all participants showed tremendous generosity, an ingredient that is essential to this type of process.

    It’s not time to celebrate just yet – we have to match the high quality of work from our participants. Five weeks before the deadline, we will have to transform these projects and propositions, combined and together, promising but also still unformed, into an application. We will have to define a final statement that clearly expresses our objectives while illustrating the dynamics of the participating ecosystem, and match projects to give them common meaning around this statement.

    At the same time, there are two major tasks to carry out:

    1) If necessary, we will follow up with project leaders to fine-tune what the project should be and be sure that we understand proposals.

    2) A jury composed of representatives from the city and the ecosystem will meet soon. Its role will be to evaluate projects on the basis of criteria primarily from the federal government’s guide but also from the city to select meaningful projects that fit with the statement.

    All of this is sure to keep us busy in the weeks to come, but we are more than satisfied to have chosen, and taken the time to invite the community to build, Montréal’s application for the Smart Cities Challenge. Our choice to create this application with co-creative and emerging dynamics is certainly a challenge, but at this stage, the results are impressive, and as is often the case, the journey is as important as the destination.

    We would like to thank Percolab who guided us in developing and facilitating the day; La Dispensa for providing us with the calories to get through the day and UQÀM, especially the sound technician in the hall, who said he too appreciated the day!

    Stéphane Guidoin
    Acting Director
    Smart and Digital City Office

  • Smart Cities Challenge – Off and away!

    4 months ago
    Atelier de cocr%c3%a9ation 14 novembre 2015 %286%29

    February 5, 2018

    Following several weeks of hard work, we are pleased to launch public and participatory activities around Montréal’s application for the government of Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge.

    Today we have made a consultation and call for projects available for the next three weeks. This blog post aims to provide some context for anyone who would like to know more about the process.

    To begin, we invite you to check out the government of Canada’s applicant's guide, our reference for the next several months, to learn more about the Challenge’s criteria and how it works. We have developed...

    February 5, 2018

    Following several weeks of hard work, we are pleased to launch public and participatory activities around Montréal’s application for the government of Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge.

    Today we have made a consultation and call for projects available for the next three weeks. This blog post aims to provide some context for anyone who would like to know more about the process.

    To begin, we invite you to check out the government of Canada’s applicant's guide, our reference for the next several months, to learn more about the Challenge’s criteria and how it works. We have developed a process that meets these criteria so that on April 24, we can submit a file that represents Montréal’s DNA.

    Once the Challenge was launched, we wanted to apply with some degree of continuity. Montréal’s DNA is made up of a strong collaborative and consultative culture. We wanted to build upon this strength instead of reinventing the wheel. We chose to carefully consult a number of past city reports and survey results, including those that guided the orientations of our “smart city” process and local dialogue exercises that were carried out by area social development round tables.

    The consultation, which was launched on February 5, will help us refine our understanding of issues that the greater Montréal area faces in developing its application file.

    The objective of the call for projects that we are launching in parallel is to bring forward projects that combine the city’s action with those of key players. It is important to understand that, more than our objective of $50 million, we see the Challenge as a fantastic opportunity to mobilize Montréal’s active ecosystems and help them work together. The aim is not to fund the city’s projects, but to be a catalyst for projects that will drive tomorrow’s Montréal.

    April 24 is coming up quickly. We know three weeks is short for a call for projects. That’s the challenge we’re trying to meet together. We have developed a process to create an application that is consistent with Challenge criteria. Infrastructure Canada mentions that an application must meet a clear, measurable and achievable objective that is presented in the form of a statement.

    The April 24 deadline is the first step of the Smart Cities Challenge to select the finalists, who will then be invited to develop their application and the projects it comprises. This is why project descriptions must be succinct for the first step without losing sight of the fact that projects must be achievable. This is one of the stressful parts of this type of exercise – seeing the big picture while remaining realistic!

    In our process, the co-creation stage, which follows the consultation stage, is also a period for streamlining and refining projects that make up Montréal’s application. This stage will begin with a collective working day on March 15 and will continue with a monthlong period of guidance to streamline the city’s projects and those of the ecosystem. You will soon receive an invitation to this special day that you can go ahead and add to your calendar now.

    What we’ll ask you over the next three weeks is to present your projects to us in a concise way by highlighting what’s innovated about them and how they fit with the Challenge’s themes. As much as possible, to meet the feasibility objectives, we are looking for projects with a certain degree of maturity for which elements that are essential to their achievement, partners and budget envelope have already been identified but not secured. Obviously, there are some ideas and initiatives that may be less mature but are just as relevant. We want to hear more about them, too!

    Just as we want to strengthen the ecosystem through this call for projects, our wish is for the projects themselves to strengthen the power of residents and communities in Montréal to take action.

    We hope to make this process a model in order to define not only what could become tomorrow’s Montréal, but also to create tomorrow’s Montréal together.

    Stéphane Guidoin
    Acting Director
    Smart and Digital City Office
  • About the Smart Cities Challenge

    4 months ago
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    November 26, 2017

    Since many people have been asking me questions about the challenge, I’m writing this short blog post to answer them – or rather, to give you a status update.

    Will we be participating in the Smart Cities Challenge? Yes!

    First of all, the challenge in and of itself is worth considering. If you look at similar challenges around the world, Infrastructure Canada’s is among the most mature and has clearly benefitted from experiences elsewhere. It’s centred on residents instead of technology, and the first step of the application is relatively easy to complete, which makes the...

    November 26, 2017

    Since many people have been asking me questions about the challenge, I’m writing this short blog post to answer them – or rather, to give you a status update.

    Will we be participating in the Smart Cities Challenge? Yes!

    First of all, the challenge in and of itself is worth considering. If you look at similar challenges around the world, Infrastructure Canada’s is among the most mature and has clearly benefitted from experiences elsewhere. It’s centred on residents instead of technology, and the first step of the application is relatively easy to complete, which makes the challenge accessible even to small towns, which have fewer human resources to work on important applications.

    As well, the amount of time for each step (five months for the first step and eight months for the next step) mean that there’s enough time to develop tangible, well-prepared projects. Expectations are high! The downside is, however, that projects aren’t ready until summer 2019.

    Since the contest was announced by the prime minister earlier this year, the Bureau de la Ville Intelligente et Numérique looked closely at similar challenges. Although we didn’t have participation criteria yet, we let a few partners know about the challenge and shared it internally at the city.

    Now that the criteria are known, it’s time to get into action. However, it’s still too early to share major orientation. Serious preparatory work must be done on the basis of published criteria. This is where we are right now. These preparatory elements must undergo a series of validations to ensure they align with the city’s key orientations.

    That being said, the objectives are clear: This challenge must take place with the population in the broadest sense of the word – individual residents, yes, but also organizations, the academic world and the private world. We will work hard to pave the way for an ambitious and collaborative submission for tomorrow’s Montréal. Over the next few weeks, more information should be available.

    Stéphane Guidoin
    Acting Director
    Smart and Digital City Office