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City submits 'transformative' Smart Cities proposal

Don Fennell   Mar-15-2019

Richmond City Council demonstrates its unanimous support for the city's final proposal in the Smart Cities Challenge.

Photo courtesy City of Richmond


Thinking outside the box and looking into the future, Richmond has submitted a ground-breaking final proposal for the Smart Cities Challenge.

The proposal is highlighted by initiatives to minimize community impacts from major disasters and enhancing quality of life.

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“Our Smart Cities Challenge proposal would make our community more resilient and improve quality of life for all our residents,” said Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “It will build upon Richmond’s recognized best practises leadership in flood prevention, emergency response and sustainability and our award-winning digital strategy.”

Richmond is a finalist for one of two $10 million prizes in the national competition, created by Infrastructure Canada that encourages communities to adopt a smart cities approach to improve the lives of their residents through innovation, data and connected technology. The city’s primary proposal is to create an Intelligent Operation Hub that will seamlessly integrate data and coordinate emergency response, while also enhancing day-to-day delivery of key local services. The Intelligent Operations Hub will allow Richmond and its partners to better understand what is happening in the city in real time. The enhanced situational awareness will enable improved communication and data sharing that will drive critical decision making for both day-to-day service delivery and emergency response, explained city spokesperson Ted Townsend.

In addition to enhanced emergency response and recovery, the proposal includes initiatives to improve traffic management, reducing collisions and congestion and to mitigate the impacts of climate change. Other benefits of the proposal will include: real-time incident notifications; faster response times; safer streets; greater community resiliency; early incident detection; improved communication and way-finding and expanded on-demand e-services.

Richmond’s final proposal and a supporting video are now available on the project website at smartcity.richmond.ca.

The proposal was developed by city staff teams, who worked alongside a variety of external partners from more than 25 government agencies and First Nations, business and community partners to prepare Richmond’s final submission. Through this process, the city is already proceeding with a number of test-case projects to begin implementing its Smart Cities vision. This includes an innovative partnership with Richmond-based MDA and other partners to use remote sensing technology, drones, and data sharing to monitor critical infrastructure and do rapid damage assessment post disaster. A pilot project with the Province of BC and other public agencies and a number of technology businesses will seek to create new platforms for improved inter-agency communications during emergencies.

Extensive community engagement was undertaken to ensure the final proposal reflects the needs and interests of local residents and business. Community engagement continues with residents being asked to show their support for the proposal through social media using the words “Richmond is my favourite Smart City” and the hashtag #smartcitiesCanada and:

• share your Richmond adventures with us using the “Richmond is my favourite Smart City” Facebook Camera filter

• add a Richmond is my favourite Smart City frame to your Facebook profile picture


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