Mississauga Throws In The Gauntlet in Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge

We all know that Mississauga is a Smart City.  Now we have a chance to show that our City is one of the smartest in Canada.

Smart Cities use technology to develop more liveable, workable and sustainable communities.  To encourage this trend, the Government of Canada launched the Smart Cities Challenge in November.  Just recently, City of Mississauga announced it will be participating in the Challenge.

The Smart Cities Challenge is a cross-Canadian initiative open to communities of all sizes, including municipalities, regional governments and Indigenous communities. The prizes for the Smart Cities Challenge include $50 million available to all communities; two prizes of up to $10 million, available to communities below 500,000 residents; and one prize of up to $5 million, available to communities with under 30,000 residents.

Mississauga has a leg-up in this Challenge.  The City’s IT Master Plan, endorsed by Council in 2015, included a series of actions that have already advanced Mississauga’s smart city framework.  For instance:

•             The City of Mississauga was the first in Canada to become a Virtual Campus in May 2017.

•             More than 100 Open Data sets are now available on the City’s new and modern Open Data Portal.

•             The City of Mississauga has expanded its free public Wi-Fi “wireless Mississauga” which is available at all City buildings, many public spaces and some parks.

•             The City built a publicly owned fibre optic network known as the PSN in partnership with the Region of Peel, Caledon and Brampton resulting in the largest publicly owned and operated fibre network in Canada. With over 800 kilometres of high speed fibre connecting 291 City sites and critical City infrastructure, the City-owned fibre network is essential to connecting smart city technologies.

This is a pretty good foundation for Mississauga’s Smart City Master Plan, the official submission to the Smart Cities Challenge.

All submissions are due April 24, 2018, with finalists selected by Summer of 2018.  Each finalist will receive a $250,000 grant to develop their final proposal which must be submitted in Winter 2019. Winners will be announced in Spring 2019.

Here’s hoping Spring 2019 brings Mississauga the top prize in Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge!