The Smart City Revolution is Here

You’ve probably got a smartphone. You may have a smart watch. But are you living in a smart city? Chances are, your community is already undergoing a digital transformation.

Smart Communities is the focus of a key panel discussion at the Wavefront 2017 IoT Summit. To start the discussion, here are some key facts about Smart Cities – the realities, the opportunities and the outlook for Canada. Join us at this year’s Summit to hear from experts who have been driving adoption of next generation technologies in communities near you.

Here is a primer to help get you started:

1) Smart Cities embrace the Internet of Things

The term “smart cities” refers to how communities are using IoT sensors and other connected devices to deliver services faster and more efficiently. Applications range from traffic systems and motion-sensor streetlights to garbage pick-up and sewers.

Cities that were once built on riverbanks and are now built on highways will soon be built based on the availability of next-generation infrastructure.

2) Cities will need to be smarter to cope with demographic shifts

About half of the world’s population lives in urban areas today. This is expected to jump to 75% by 2050 and will place enormous demand on transportation systems, infrastructure, basic services and the environment.

Increased urbanization is creating a need for cities to harness the potential of information technology to better manage infrastructure, do more with less, and deliver services efficiently and sustainably. Smart cities aren’t trendy; they are an urgent necessity.

3) Smart City initiatives are taking place across Canada

Cities like Barcelona, Spain are widely recognized as an early adopter of smart city technologies, but Canadian communities are rapidly joining the movement:

The City of Mississauga is partnering with Cisco on Smart City initiatives such as an Advanced Traffic Management System that makes real-time changes to reduce congestion and prioritize emergency response. In the future, traffic signals could allow snowplows to pass through intersections without stopping, reducing service time, vehicle wear and fuel consumption. Read more.

The City of Ottawa is partnering with Rogers and Ericsson on a Connected Water system. Sensors placed within a watershed system collect data that helps city workers track pollution, abnormal temperatures and other indicators related to water quality. Read more.

The City of St. Albert has a Smart City Master Plan and has already introduced initiatives such as interactive maps of capital projects and radio frequency (RFID) tags on residential garbage cans to record collection information.

The federal government’s Smart Cities Challenge, expected to be introduced this year, will foster further innovation and digital transformation at the municipal level.

Wavefront is helping to lead the Smart City Revolution. As the only national organization focused exclusively on IoT in Canada, Wavefront is supporting the growth of smart cities with our Enterprise Solutions. Municipal bodies and tech companies are tapping into our consulting and technical expertise to turn smart city ideas into reality. Whether it’s system design, strategy, testing or introductions to the right people, Wavefront can help.

Interested? Join us at the Wavefront 2017 IoT Summit in Toronto, May 1-2. “IoT Adoption – Smart Communities” is a panel discussion featuring Rick Huijbregts, VP of Digital Transformation and Innovation with Cisco Canada, Rob Meikle, CIO of the City of Toronto, and Jessie Adcock, Chief Technology Officer of the City of Vancouver, that will explore how municipalities are embracing digital transformation. Find out more.

Keep watching this blog for more in our series about Smart Cities.

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