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State of Open Smart Communities in Canada

As the smart city landscape across Canada evolves, cities, towns, and Indigenous communities of all sizes are learning from each other and are building a “made in Canada” version of the smart city.

This report identifies the self-assessed needs and capacities of Canadian municipalities, emerging challenges and risks faced regarding data and technologies, and the innovative approaches applied to address those challenges. Drawing from conversations with city leaders across the country over the past nine months, there is evidence that cities are increasingly expressing a desire to adopt smart city practices that align with the Open Smart City concept. Communities across Canada are proactive as they develop policies and strategies that uphold the public interest and represent the values of openness and accountability, while at the same time fostering innovation and inclusion. Canadian cities are on the threshold of embracing a new form of inclusion, one which builds digital, technical, and data literacy and breaks down the digital divide and organizational silos.

Administrators and elected officials in cities are beginning to work toward inclusion and are investing in efforts to build digital, technical, and data literacy in their communities. This entails educating the public on the use of technologies deployed in public spaces to ensure that a diverse range of stakeholders have a meaningful say in the policymaking process and can access new tools. Doing so provides residents with opportunities to make decisions regarding data and to maintain control of their personal data (such as accessing it when requested) and allows cities to uphold privacy and maintain security.

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