Urenio Watch Watch: Intelligent / Smart Cities Strategies

Smarter Toronto: A Call for Collaborative Action

This report is a collaborative work between ARUP, Toronto Region Board of Trade and Smart Cities Working Group, and provides concrete actions and recommendations in order to accelerate the efforts to make Toronto a world leader in smart solutions. Based on the idea that smarter and more resilient cities are the result of a unified strategy, the report suggests that local government together with other stakeholders should develop a smarter Toronto vision and strategy with specific actions and measurable outcomes.

A unified smart city strategy has the power to enhance value from infrastructure investments, reduce traffic congestion, improve the movement of goods and people, create new jobs, attract and retain talent, grow the local economy and increase social equity. It also carries with it the ability to engage diverse communities, commercialize academic research, reduce the impacts of climate change and enhance cultural life, while addressing the needs of vulnerable people.

The working group performed a Smart Accomplishments Survey of five divisions to learn about the smart projects currently underway:
  1. Energy and Environment
  2. Toronto Water
  3. Transportation Services
  4. Toronto Public Health
  5. Solid Waste Management
The survey highlights some of the innovative smart projects underway and discloses the ambitions of City division leaders to do more. It also revealed there are further opportunities for closer collaboration between divisions and other opportunities to improve efficiency. The monetary benefits of digital projects, and the projected spending on such future initiatives, indicates
great potential for leveraging this expenditure across divisions to achieve maximum benefits and efficiencies.

The 5Cs of Action

The Smart Cities Working Group recommends the 5 Cs of Action, positioning the City as a champion and strategic partner.
  • COLLABORATE with stakeholders. The City can be a champion in creating a government-wide smarter Toronto vision and strategy aligned with related City initiatives; focused on specific needs, with clear, defined targets and outcomes.
  • CATALYZE a data governance and analytics strategy. The City can be a
    champion through its emerging data initiatives.
  • CONNECT Toronto stakeholders. Through a proactive, smart policy lens, the City can partner with the Working Group to link residents and businesses to its smart initiatives
  • CO-CREATE with the Working Group to bring in key players and build
    Toronto’ s smart solutions.
  •  COMMUNICATE a cohesive smarter Toronto narrative with the Working Group; develop an awareness campaign to attract investment and talent, stimulate the export of smart city capabilities and strengthen the local smart ecosystem. Establish Toronto as a regional hub for innovative smart solutions created and tested locally.

About the Smart Cities Working Group

Formed in 2016, the Smart Cities Working Group is a collaboration between the Toronto Region Board of Trade, member stakeholders and City of Toronto staff. Their goal is to foster a collaborative approach to smart developments, ensuring Toronto can respond to this digital era’ s opportunities and demands. They support the City with their experience and expertise, helping shape and implement the smarter Toronto vision.

  • Read the report here.