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Smart Cities Challenge

The City of Calgary has created a bold community proposal to Infrastructure Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge.

Challenge statement

The following challenge statement has been chosen as a priority within our community and will be the focus of our submission:

After one of the worst economic downturns, Calgary will revolutionize to become Canada’s most resilient, inclusive and accessible community by increasing economic diversification to support our innovation ecosystem and partnering to integrate smart city technologies and data into affordable housing initiatives - creating more jobs and opportunities for all.

Why has this challenge statement been chosen?

The need for creating more jobs has been identified as a big issue in our community in the wake of one of Calgary’s worst economic downturns.

Calgary’s unemployment rate went from 4.4% in November 2014 to the highest rate in Canada in July 2016 at 10.2%. In December 2017, it was 7.2%, which is still above the national average.

Calgary’s overall proportion of non-market housing is 3.6%, while the national average across Canada is 6% (Data source: Housing in Calgary: An Inventory of Housing Supply 2015/2016 City of Calgary). 84,000 or nearly 1 in 5 households are struggling to pay for shelter costs.

What would it look like to solve the challenge?

Imagine the many approaches we might take to solve the challenge:

  • Imagine incorporating high speed fibre into affordable housing designs
    to allow vulnerable Calgarians to upskill, do digital work and tap into global jobs from home.
  • Imagine using bigger data to amplify and improve the secondary suite marketplace
    to incentivize development of new suites and therefore, new economic opportunities.
  • Imagine using the construction of a new housing initiative
    to improve a living lab environment that draws more companies to Calgary to test their technology.

These are a few examples of how and we are looking to Calgarians to submit their innovative and future-focused solutions.

We are eager to dig in and work together to explore how we can use technology and connected data to realize positive outcomes for Calgarians.

About the Smart Cities Challenge


The Government of Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge is a competition asking municipalities across Canada to submit bold ideas to tackle an issue facing residents in their community using innovation, data and connected technology.

The Smart Cities Challenge invites submissions to align with one to two of the following focus areas: economic opportunity, empowerment and inclusion, environmental quality, healthy living and recreation, mobility and safety and security.

The winning municipality will receive $50 million to solve an important local issue.