Canadian Government Executive - Volume 27 - Issue 05

BY STEVEN LUPO COMMUNITIES ARE LOOKING TO BECOME MORE CONNECTED, BUT PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE IS KEY 14 / Canadian Government Executive // September/October 2021 GOVERNMENT SERVICES M any cities and communi- ties across the country are thinking about — and in many cases al- ready utilizing — smart technologies to solve a range of problems relating to the environment, mobility, crime prevention, and economic growth. The goal: A Smart City Strategy that integrates multiple technologies and the Internet of Things (IoT), empowering municipalities to improve critical services provided to its citizens. By integrating innovative solutions, com- munities can become safer, save energy, and improve the overall quality of life for residents. And investments are being made; IDC Canada predicts smart cities spending in Canada to reach C$2.8 billion in 2022. Starting smart As communities look to embark down this path, there are some important consider- ations. As with any technology-based en- deavour, planning is a key element, and a strong strategy can help ensure communities are making enduring investments that are future-proof. It starts with a platform that will enable the ability to deliver solutions. Every city has dif- ferent plans and areas of focus when it comes to services they want to provide and those will always be changing. Communication platforms that are device-agnostic, robust, secure, and capable of managing both new applications – including those not invented yet — and existing intelligent devices will en- sure longevity and the ability to grow as the community does. With the right technologi- cal backbone and integrated communica- tions platform, cities can create a connected system that supports both current and future needs. From street lighting to traffic management and environmental controls — with the right foundation, the opportunities are endless. DEVELOPING A SMART CITY STRATEGY: FIRST STEPS