From left, Lynnaya Munroe of Telus, Director of Community Economic Development Nicole Fricot, and Tech Strategy Coordinator Hayley Johnson chat during the Technology Summit and Career Trade Show at Revelstoke Secondary School on Feb. 22, 2018. (Jake Sherman/Revelstoke Review)

Smart Cities Challenge puts Revelstoke in the running for $50 million

Priority is to get residents thinking about creative solutions to community problems

Director of Community Economic Development Nicole Fricot says it’s a long shot, but Revelstoke is in the running for $50 million.

The City is currently in the process of participating in the federal government’s Smart Cities Challenge, which asks municipalities to identify issues of concern to their communities and brainstorm creative solutions that leverage the use of technology.

“It’s a long shot,” said Fricot. “But the higher priority is that we start to have these conversations and begin to identify solutions. Once we do that I can take that information and fight for the community.”

Over the last week, the City has been collecting information from local constituents using an online data collection platform called thoughtexchange.

The online survey has asked residents to weigh in on what the biggest issues facing Revelstoke are in the long term.

With one day left to respond to the online survey, the City has collected 125 responses.

About one in five respondents raised concerns about housing and development.

Other issues identified by local residents were related to the Trans-Canada Highway, food security, the diversification of the local economy, and the cost of living.

Fricot said the online survey is just the first part of the City’s ongoing process for collecting information and identifying the issues that matter to local constituents.

“The first part of the project is identifying what problems the community wants to solve over the next 10 years,” said Fricot. “The second stage is looking at how we use technology to solve those problems.”

The online survey will close on March 9.

The ongoing dialogue with constituents is slated to continue in person on between 6 and 8 p.m. on March 13, when the City hosts the Future of Stoke at the Community Centre.

The event will see the City take three or four of the issues identified by constituents in the survey and brainstorm creative solutions to those problems.

Those in attendance will break into small groups to come up with innovative ways to solve those problems.

The deadline for submissions for the Smart Cities Challenge is April 24 and the finalists of the federal government’s challenge will be notified this summer.

The cities selected as finalists will receive a $250K federal grant to develop their final proposals. Those proposals will be due in winter 2019, and a jury will select the winners in spring of 2019.

The first prize is $50 million, which is open to all the communities who apply, regardless of population.

There will also be two prizes of $10 million up for grabs, which are reserved for communities under 500,000 people. And one prize of $5 million open to communities under 30,000 people.


@Jnsherman
jake.sherman@revelstokereview.com

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