City of Calgary submits community proposal to Smart Cities Challenge

The City of Calgary has submitted its community proposal to Infrastructure Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge, which is now available at

Calgary’s submission, which focuses on economic opportunity and empowerment and inclusion, was created using community feedback, existing research, data and insights and engagement with the Smart City Community Team.

“Over the past several months, we asked Calgarians to submit their big, bold, ambitious and smart ideas about how to increase economic diversification and job creation using data and connected technology,” says Monique Nesset, who is leading The City’s application to the Smart Cities Challenge. “Thank you to everyone for sharing thoughtful and innovative ideas on how to make our great city even better.”

The submission focuses on the following challenge:

Calgary will revolutionize to become Canada’s most inclusive and resilient community by connecting all Calgarians, enabling access to the services, supports and information they need to be engaged and lead fulfilling lives and increasing economic diversification to create more job opportunities.

The high-level outcomes in the submission aim to impact all Calgarians by ensuring:

  1. Calgarian are connected – tools and means to be connected, bridging the digital divide, increasing digital literacy
  2. Calgarians have access – easy access to services, supports and tools needed to thrive, starting with vulnerable citizens
  3. Economic diversification and job creation for Calgarians – job opportunities, enabling skills transfer, building living labs, supporting innovation ecosystem

“These outcomes reflect where we are now, where we want to go and what we value. They align and interconnect to strengthen the social and economic fabric of our community,” says Monique.

Some of the innovative projects proposed in the submission to achieve these outcomes are:

  • Gap analysis to better understand the obstacles for Calgarians;
  • Opening City infrastructure for wireless deployment zones with industry partners (5G-ready);
  • Single entry to community services, starting with vulnerable citizens;
  • Exploring using blockchain to build secure, opt-in citizen biometric-enabled unique identifier to assist most vulnerable citizens;
  • Living lab strategy and implementation to support research and businesses; and
  • Digital networking tool matching challenges to research (academia) to solutions (entrepreneurs, industry) to funding (large enterprise and capital).

Finalists of the Smart Cities Challenge, which encourages municipalities to take risks and submit bold ideas for an opportunity to win up to $50 million towards solving local issues, will be announced this summer. If selected as a finalist, The City will submit a final, detailed proposal this winter and winners will be announced by Infrastructure Canada in spring 2019.

View the complete submission and learn more about what makes Calgary a smart city at