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Smart City Initiatives

Smart City definition:

"A smart city uses technology and data to improve livability and opportunities for the city and its people."

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.

A smart city is best described an an "urban development vision to integrate multiple information and communication technology". Smart cities are able to assist with the managing and monitoring city assets like water and waste for example. 

The City of Waterloo is committed to pursuing Smart City initiatives and below is a list of some of the initiatives that we have introduced.

Smart City projects:

ActiveWaterloo - the city's new recreation software to help serve you better.

Advanced metering infrastructure pilot project - tracks hourly water consumption and displays in real time through mobile app or website.

Asset management plan - creates a bridge between infrastructure plans, spending and staff.

City facilities energy efficiency retrofit upgrades project - the city saves $430,000/year on facility energy and water utility bills.

City of Waterloo Open Data - open data provides the foundation for making cities smarter by enabling new services and acting as a feedback loop for improving existing services. You can browse, search, preview, and download a variety of municipal geospatial and tabular datasets.

CityStudio - innovation hub where students, city staff and community stakeholders co-create solutions that support the city's strategic priorities.

Dog waste recycling containers - program that converts dog waste into energy. 

engageWaterloo - online engagement platform for public consultation on municipal projects, programs and services.

GIS and city internal map - digitized engineering drawings for all assets in water, sanitary sewer and stormwater.

GPS salt units - installed on all winter equipment to track vehicles and salt usage.

GreenLab - pavilion located at RIM that demonstrates and teaches us about environmental best practices.

IBM Smarter Cities - Northdale plan - increase the sense of community and attract new investments.

Jostle -  intuitive intranet that helps improve employee engagement.

LED street lighting - replacing 8,000 high pressure sodium bulbs, swapped with new technology.

HonkMobile - visitors to uptown Waterloo can purchase additional parking time through Honk Mobile's free app.

Municipal Enforcement AutoVu - licence plate recognition vehicle uses a camera-based system to mark vehicles for parking control.

Online licensing - register or renew your business or dog licenses, and apply for your marriage or residential rental licenses.

OpenText - content management system that eases records management and collaboration procedures.

Parking sensor pilot - using low power radio frequency sensors to detect traffic volumes, providing real time parking count and space utilization trends.

Parks finder - search for parks in the City of Waterloo by park name, type of park and type of facilities.

PickupHub - an online platform that coordinates game schedules, registration, payment and social networking.

Pingstreet - mobile application specifically designed for daily interactions between citizens and multi-level government.

Public art finder - search for public art in the City of Waterloo, get info about the art and street level views.

Rainwater harvesting project - collects runoff from rooftops that could be drained into an underground cistern.

Solar idle reduction project - two city fleet vehicles being retrofitted with solar panel and a battery energy storage system which can run auxiliary loads and reduce idling.

Speed radar sign pilot - electronic speed sign that collects speed and volume of vehicles.

Telephone VOIP system upgrade - all city facilities were upgraded to a centralized VOIP system improving disaster recovery capabilities, allowing staff to interact with residents more effectively and timely.

Uptown Waterloo Communitech DataHub - help startups, medium-sized companies and large enterprises to capitalize on and collaborate around big data and the Internet of Things, officially launched in May 2017 the Communitech DataHub is the region's new home for the data-driven tech community and also houses Canada's Open Data Exchange.