New Brunswick

Fredericton vying for $10M smart prize to help better serve the community

The City of Fredericton is putting the finishing touches on its final submission to Canada's Smart Cities Challenge — with high hopes of winning $10 million.

The city has until Tuesday, April 24 to submit its final proposal

Fredericton councillors held regular meeting at city hall.
The City of Fredericton is hoping to win $10 million in Canada's Smart Cities Challenge, which focuses on improving municipalities across the country. (Daniel McHardie/CBC)

The City of Fredericton is putting the finishing touches on its final submission to Canada's Smart Cities Challenge — with high hopes of winning $10 million.

Fredericton's entry will focus on ways to better serve members of the community and improve access to city services.

They're doing this by expanding the city's digital infrastructure and building a data base.

"It's about understanding and gathering data," said Adam Bell, a city staff member who is leading Fredericton's entry.

Bell spoke at Monday night's council-in-committee meeting, providing an update on Fredericton's entry.

Earlier this year the national competition, which was issued by the federal government, asked municipalities across the country to find ways to improve their city  — with a cash prize given out to the winning proposal.

A key component to the entry must show a way to incorporate technology into the submission. 

More than 1,000 submissions 

A task force at city hall spent the last couple of months reviewing the 1,000 ideas submitted by residents. From there, the group started crafting the final submission.

Bell said every suggestion was unique and based on the individual needs of each community member.

Adam Bell, an official with the City of Fredericton, spoke at a council-in-committee meeting on Monday about Fredericton's submission to the national competition. (Gary Moore/CBC)

So instead of focusing on one specific idea, Bell said the final submission process turned into finding ways to get to know residents of Fredericton and their needs. 

"To provide a smart city we need to understand where people are at in terms of their unique preferences and needs," he said.

Theme of inclusion

Fredericton's submission to the Smart Cities Challenge will help with projects the city is already working on, such as its plan to end homelessness.

"To create the data platforms that plan recommended. And, to provide the types of applications that service providers would need to serve the homeless community better."

"One of our goals in this project is to start with the most vulnerable people who need to be included the most."

The city has until Tuesday, April 24 to submit its idea, in one sentence containing only 50 words. 

Every Canadian city with 30,000 people or more is eligible to win. Canada's winning city is expected to be named early next year.


Gary Moore

CBC News

Gary Moore is a video journalist based in Fredericton.