As the regional centre in York Region, Canada’s fastest growing region, the Town of Newmarket is committed to shifting the community to a digital-based economy. Like many municipalities, the Town of Newmarket recognizes how Smart Cities innovations can improve services, reduce environmental impact and decrease costs. Their challenge: finding solutions that fit the size, existing infrastructure and long-term goals of their city.
Wavefront helped the Town of Newmarket discover a path forward by organizing a Design Thinking workshop that brought them together with technology partners – and a whole new way of thinking.
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Creating a focus
The Town of Newmarket wanted to explore Smart Cities solutions for three challenges:
- Parking and traffic congestion
- Data collection and information sharing
- Citizen engagement
Newmarket engaged Wavefront to lead a Design Thinking workshop that would match what the municipality was looking for and what vendors could offer. The event in April 2017 brought together participants from the Town of Newmarket along with technology partners from Microsoft, Cisco, IBM and Rogers. The program was facilitated in collaboration with three system integrators: Connected Lab, TribalScale and rangle.io.
The workshop used a wide range of user-centric ideation techniques borrowed from the best practices of Design Thinking and Service Design. Over two days, three working groups designed, prototyped, evaluated and presented a Smart City solution. They included an engagement platform for citizens, smart parking signage and a digital currency that encourages civic activities.
“The workshop really helped me think about solving the Town’s problem in a new way,” said Greg Dashwood, Product Lead for IoT & Advanced Analytics at Microsoft. “I have a much deeper understanding of the core issues they are facing and how they could be better served.”
From idea to reality
The Town of Newmarket is looking at next steps to take some of the concepts from prototypes to reality.
“We are looking forward to exploring how to bring some of the ideas from the workshop to life,” said Mark Agnoletto, Senior Manager, Public works Services at the Town of Newmarket. “It was a fantastic way to get the right conversations going with key technology providers.”
Could Design Thinking help you seize digital opportunities?
The Internet of Things is complex and requires a variety of perspectives to generate meaningful new solutions. The principles of Design Thinking and an Agile approach can help if you are interested in:
- Leveraging best practices for solution ideation
- Rapid prototyping
- Connecting with the right stakeholders
As an intermediary that matches technology providers with enterprise looking for solutions, Wavefront is uniquely positioned to deliver workshops that combine fresh thinking and essential players in the ecosystem to tackle tough problems.
Contact us to discuss how this approach could work for you.