Share this page Print

Smart Cities Challenge

Smart IDEAS make a GREAT city.

Smart IDEAS make a GREAT city.

What is your big, smart, ambitious idea?


Smart city homegrid, Go to Civic Innovation

Tell us now


Tell us now
Smart city story: Lane reversals

Smart story: Technology and traffic

Rush hour lane reversals
Smart city story - tree watering

Smart story: Technology and trees

Planting for the future


Help form Calgary’s submission for the Smart Cities Challenge!

The City of Calgary is creating a community submission to Infrastructure Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge.
From now until April 2, 2018, we are asking Calgarians to submit your big, bold, ambitious and smart ideas about how to increase economic diversification and job creation using data and connected technology to continue to shape Calgary as a smart, resilient and prosperous city.
Tell us what could make our great city even better. Share your thoughts now through our Civic Innovation YYC online platform.

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 improved the secondary suite marketplace – incentivizing 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.

Community engagement

Building out a smart city may be about technology and data, but it requires the involvement of our people. We have been asking for the public’s input and are currently in Phase 3:
Smart City challenge phases 
Through the first two phases, Calgarians shared some very thoughtful and diverse challenges including, accessibility, community/neighborhood knowledge, data sharing, infrastructure investment and more. 

Smart City Community Workshop

We recently held a community team workshop where representatives from the community narrowed down the proposed challenges, applying community research and data previously gathered to provide suggestions for Calgary’s 50-word challenge statement for the Smart Cities Challenge.

Thank you to community team participants, along with our City of Calgary colleagues, who invested their time into the workshop.
  • ACAMP (Alberta Centre for Advanced Micro/Nano Technology Products)
  • Calgary Economic Development
  • Calgary Parking Authority
  • Calgary Public Library
  • Calgary Technologies Inc
  • Chamber of Commerce
  • Cybera


  • Distress Centre 211
  • Drop-In & Rehab Centre
  • Rainforest
  • SAIT
  • United Way
  • University of Calgary
Grade 5 and 6 students engagement
We also took the opportunity to engage with Grade 5 & 6 students in person during The City of Calgary’s 2018 Safety Expo in March.
Students shared their thoughts on smart cities and what they thought Calgary’s biggest challenges were through impromptu brainstorming sessions. Their ideas were captured along with the feedback we received from Civic Innovation YYC and the community workshop.

Calgary is already a smart city


Learn about how some of our smart city projects are already helping make life better every day.

Let’s continue to work together to make our community even stronger and create opportunities for all Calgarians.

Visit smart city projects.

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.