The world is evolving - society has become increasingly digital, mobile, and connected. More than ever, communities need to ensure they manage critical infrastructure effectively, deliver services efficiently, collaborate freely, and analyze data for local benefit.
Smart Communities (commonly referred to as Smart Cities) are places that recognize these trends and the need to embrace innovative solutions. These are places that are working to apply technology, collect and analyze data, and respond to issues as or before they happen.
Smart Communities achieve exciting lifestyle benefits for residents, robust economic opportunities, and more efficient governance within a safe and healthy environment. There is no universal way to design a community of the future, and no one definition of a Smart Community- all communities have tremendous opportunity and potential.
Alberta Smart City Alliance
The Alberta Smart City Alliance is Alberta’s only entity dedicated to the advancement of “Smart Community” innovations and technological solutions to many of the complex issues facing Alberta communities. The Alliance’s key objectives include:
Generation of member awareness of Smart City opportunities and best practices, and information to support improved knowledge and capacity;
Promotion of Smart City technologies and other solutions to address community challenges, particularly in relation to local program and service improvement, environmental and financial sustainability, and economic development; and
Encouragement or facilitation of Smart City investment, research, testing, and market growth in Alberta.
The Alliance is also based on a unique design - a cross-sector collaboration between municipalities, corporations, entrepreneurs, researchers, and other community leaders and city innovators. Founded in 2014, current leaders include the City of St. Albert, City of Edmonton, City of Calgary, IBM Canada, Cisco Canada, the University of Alberta, and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT).
Since its inception, the Alliance has grown to include nearly 300 members and offer a variety of member services. Membership is free to all those who are interested in hearing more or participating in Smart City projects. Cities, towns, villages, counties, companies, researchers, and others are all welcome to join. The Alliance has hosted a variety of exciting events and initiatives, including workshops, conference, online forums, news and research, pilot projects, and trade missions.