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Smart South Island Initiative

Citizen-Inspired Transformation

The Smart South Island Vision 2040 is a long-term regional plan which establishes the intended future state of a Smart South Island — it outlines the guiding set of principles for South Island Prosperity Project’s submission to Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge.

Vision 2040 highlights our community’s desire to see significant improvements made to quality of life through the use of data and connected technologies. The Smart South Island Symposium, held in 2017, informed and influenced the guiding principles.

Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge

In 2018, Greater Victoria edged out more than 126 cities across Canada to be shortlisted as one of ten $10 million finalists in the first ever Smart Cities Challenge!  Though Greater Victoria was not selected for the final prize, we remain determined to keep the momentum going and work with our partners to develop our smart mobility projects, using what we learned throughout the proposal process to guide us. With support from our local governments and organizations like Esri Canada, BC Transit, BC Ferries, and other private transportation companies, we will continue our collaboration to improve transportation and mobility in the South Island region. We are excited to present our final proposal and we invite you to read it and watch our video below.

Greater Victoria's Smart Cities Challenge Proposal

What is a smart city?

Cities around the world are adopting “smart” strategies, focusing on the use of data and technology to inform their decisions and implement solutions that improve livability and create positive social, economic and environmental outcomes for their residents.

Smart cities have the potential to improve every aspect of community life – how people move around, how they live and play, how they earn a living, how they learn and are empowered to participate in society, how they interact with the natural environment, and how they create safe and secure public spaces.

So what does a smart city look like? While the term “smart” may conjure up images of flying cars and robots, technology is not the driving force behind a smart city; its people are at the heart. Planning and transformation on smart cities should always be inspired by the needs of its citizens.

Open Innovation Challenges

In spring 2018, SIPP convened our first Open Innovation Challenge, a four-month public competition, sponsored by Island Savings, to find the best and brightest local innovators with new ideas. We were blown away by how much engagement we received from a diverse range of backgrounds—non- profits, academia, businesses, and private citizens. In all, we received 69 applications, which resulted in 10 finalists, and ultimately three prize winners who took away $15,000 each.

In September 2018, SIPP and Island Savings teamed up to present the Future Innovator Challenge, a competition for high school and post-secondary students to help improve the quality of life for citizens of the region, and to compete for seed funding for their projects.

We live in a community that deeply values innovation, and it fills us with hope to see the bright ideas of the next generation of leaders—we received more than 70 student submissions!

In January 2019, teams pitched their projects to a panel of judges at a public event at University of Victoria with media in attendance. Two teams were declared the first-place winners in their categories (high school and post-secondary). Teams received cash prizes of $1,500, $750, or $500 to fund their winning ideas.