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Innovation takes centre stage at Ideas Fair

Don Fennell   Jan-07-2019

Richmond's Smart Cities Ideas Fair is set for the afternoon of Jan. 17 at Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Richmond campus.

Photo courtesy City of Richmond


What may be routine tomorrow will be borne out of ideas today.

That’s the catalyst for the Richmond Smart Cities Ideas Fair, being co-hosted by the City of Richmond and Kwantlen Polytechnic University from 2 to 6 p.m. on Jan. 17 at the school’s Richmond campus, 8771 Lansdowne Rd.

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While the fair will feature a variety of displays, demonstrations and hands-on activities, the primary focus will be the city’s proposal to create an intelligent operations hub as part of the national Smart Cities Challenge. The proposed hub will dramatically improve Richmond’s ability to respond to major emergencies, while also enhancing the delivery of day-to-day community services.

“Richmond has long been home to some of the world’s leading technology companies and many of our local government agencies and academic institutions are leading the way in embracing Smart Cities thinking,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “The Smart Cities Ideas Fair is a great opportunity for the public to learn more about the exciting advances being made right here in Richmond and our province.”

Kwantlen president Dr. Alan Davis said partnering with the city on the Smart Cities initiative aligns with the university’s polytechnic mandate.

“Participating in the Smart Cities Challenge will provide our students with the opportunity to explore learning beyond the classroom, in settings that will allow them to participate in a real way in the creation of an intelligent operations hub,” Davis said.

Those attending the afternoon fair will be able to learn more about the city’s plans and provide input on the proposed Smart Cities initiatives.

Innovative local projects and programs that incorporate Smart Cities thinking, from the city’s digital strategy (expanding the array of civic e-services and community connectivity) to the internationally award-winning District Energy Utility (cutting-edge programs that are addressing climate change and longterm sustainability) will also be highlighted along with the dike master plan, which ensures Richmond is protected from flooding now and in the future.

Kwantlen will also be showcasing several projects and programs including a video demonstration of a self-driving vehicle project, an exploration of the Internet of Things and a look at wearable technology.

Richmond is one of 10 finalists competing for one of two $10 million prizes in Infrastructure Canada’s nationwide Smart Cities Challenge. The national completion encourages communities to adopt a smart cities approach to improve the lives of their residents through innovation, data and connected technology.

Richmond’s proposed Intelligent Operations Hub would link existing and new data streams and asset management platforms from multiple agencies to effectively respond to incidents that could be as small as traffic congestion due to a rain event, or as big as a major earthquake. This initiative will enhance the daily lives of citizens, while improving community resilience to major events and protecting critical local and national infrastructure in Richmond.

The City is currently working together with local business, other government agencies and academic institutions to finalize its proposal, which will be submitted to Infrastructure Canada in March. The public is able to provide feedback on the proposal until Jan. 20 by visiting www.LetsTalkRichmond.ca.

For more information on the city’s proposal and the Smart Cities Challenge click.


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