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Edmonton is 1st Canadian city to host Smart Cities Council workshop

File photo of Edmonton's skyline. Sept. 22, 2019.
File photo of Edmonton's skyline. Sept. 22, 2019.

Edmonton is playing host to a Smart Cities Council workshop Wednesday, the first Canadian city to hold an event from the group.

“The city has received quite a bit of national and international recognition for our smart city work,” Mayor Don Iveson said.

“We’re [a] widely recognized open government leader, with the amount of data we put out there,” Iveson said.

The workshop will see community members and city officials focus on building up digital city services around transportation and public health.

Mayor Don Iveson speaks at the Smart Cities Council Readiness Workshop on Oct. 9, 2019.
Mayor Don Iveson speaks at the Smart Cities Council Readiness Workshop on Oct. 9, 2019. Julien Fournier/ Global News

Edmonton was chosen as the host for the workshop after it was recognized by the Smart Cities Council as the first Canadian winner of its Readiness Challenge. 

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READ MORE: Edmonton’s open data initiatives rank #1 among 34 Canadian cities

The organization said Edmonton won in part for its You Can Benefit program, which helps citizens help find government services, as well as its Open Data Initiative. 

Philip Bane, the managing director of the Smart Cities Council said that Edmonton’s ability to change with new innovations is also what made it stand out.

“Part of Edmonton remaining smart is this ability to understand what’s changing in terms of technology and how to adapt it to its needs,” said Bane.

READ MORE: City launches online tool to help Edmontonians access government benefits

Edmonton was also recently a top finalist in another smart cities competition, this one run by the federal government. Montreal won the top prize for that competition.

READ MORE: Edmonton selected as $50M Smart Cities Challenge finalist

Iveson says he is proud of the way Edmonton uses technology to improve the lives of its residents.

“It’s important for cities to understand the challenges of technological disruption, but also to embrace the opportunities.

“Like our bus network,” Iveson said. “We can get real-time feedback about how our buses are running and then also share that with the public.

“Technology can enable a lot of positive interactions,” Iveson said.

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Interactive map shows century of sprawl in Edmonton
Interactive map shows century of sprawl in Edmonton