SMART COMMUNITIES NEW BRUNSWICK PROJECT SUMMARY, DECEMBER 2017
A smart community uses data and technology wisely to improve its social, economic and environmental fabric.
The term ‘smart cities’ has been in our language for a few years, generally referring to the use of technology, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), to enhance life in larger centres like London, Barcelona and New York City. That said, the Cities of New Brunswick Association believes that smart communities can thrive in our province by using technology wisely to help improve our social, economic and environmental fabric, even at a smaller scale.
The objective of the SMART COMMUNITIES NB project is to help municipalities in New Brunswick improve their social, economic and environmental fabric through implementing new or existing technologies. Every municipality is different in size, challenges and opportunities - however, each can develop smart community plans (the use of technology) specific to their needs.
We believe that the lessons learned from this project can be scaled over time to help similar sized municipalities elsewhere. Over 50% of Canadians (and global citizens for that matter) live in major urban areas that can benefit from ‘smart cities’. However, that leaves the other half of the population living in rural and smaller urban centres that can and should benefit from appropriate smart community technology and processes.
This project proposes to:
- To accelerate the learning and implementation of smart technologies in New Brunswick communities, and just as importantly, determine the actual measured value to those communities, and;
- To accelerate the growth of New Brunswick smart grid and smart community technology focused businesses by providing them with a collective client base and deep market research with respect to the municipal sector.
- Financial savings, such as lower energy and operational costs;
- Potential revenue increase, such as increased tax base, public transit ridership and increased demand for waste products;
- Reduce carbon footprint;
- Improve economic development opportunities, and;
- Increase resident engagement.
Areas to address in communities include (in no particular order):
- Population growth
- Quality Internet access
- Water and wastewater
- Waste management
- Asset management
- Economic development
- Public safety
- Open data
- Ageing population
- Local food supply
- Smart hubs
- Climate change resiliency 20. Affordable housing
- Complete a thorough survey and interview process to assess community needs, willingness and ability to participate in the Smart Communities NB Project. The process will consist of interviewing 10 to 15 people from 12 participating municipalities, such as municipal staff, elected officials, local chamber of commerce leaders and local non-profit organizations.
- Identify a roster of solution providers based on the information gained from the interviews. The roster aims to identify as many New Brunswick based solution providers as possible, but may also need to either go outside of the province, or Atlantic Canada, and it is possible that solution providers may not yet exist to our knowledge.
- It is anticipated that several communities will want to implement smart community projects, possibly ranging from smart grid technologies to improving public safety to establishing bulk procurement strategies. An initial smart communities’ roadmap will be developed as well as a project evaluation process for communities seeking funding for future smart projects.
- Identify smart projects that will require consultant or subject matter expertise to determine further needs or project definition per the evaluation process above, as well as scoping two or three publicly funded smart community demonstration projects that could be municipal or province-wide in scope.
- Host a mini-conference in Spring 2018 for municipal and private sector stakeholders, including presentations from three or four global smart cities leaders.