What is a Smart City?

    A Smart City is a community that uses innovation to address local issues their residents face. A smart cities approach uses data and connected technology to achieve meaningful outcomes for residents.

    A smart cities approach aims to achieve meaningful outcomes for residents, building upon the fundamental benefits that data and connected technology have to offer:

    Openness – by making data openly accessible, useable and barriers-free, decision-making becomes open and transparent, empowering citizens and strengthening their relationships with public organizations.

    Integration – by sharing data and using connected technologies communities can break down siloes that exist within local governments and public organizations.

    Transferability – by building upon open, transparent and standardized tools and technologies, new practices and ways of thinking can be adopted by communities across the country, no matter their size or capacity.

    Collaboration – by bringing together traditional and non-traditional partners with diverse knowledge and capability, collaborations create transformative outcomes that benefit the community.

    Smart cities improve the quality of life for residents, can create job opportunities for citizens and promote a progressive image of a city.

    What are examples of Smart City projects?


    Smart lighting projects in San Diego, automatically dim public lighting when no pedestrians or vehicles are present, smart lighting can save power and reduce light pollution while still keeping neighborhoods safe.

    Benefit: estimated savings to San Diego‘s electricity costs of $1.9million annually.


    Smart parking projects in Portland, provide real-time information about empty on-street parking spaces to notify vehicles of empty spots allowing the driver or vehicle to go directly to an open space.

    Benefit: increase in parking revenue by 27% while also helping reduce congestion and idling.

    Public Safety

    Sensors and security devices deployed in San Francisco generate detailed, real-time, location-based information when a firearm is discharged. The sensors triangulate the location, and information is sent to authorities to speed up deployment of police.

    Benefit: decreased gun related crimes by 50% in neighborhoods where tech was deployed.

    What is the Smart Cities Challenge?

    The Smart Cities Challenge encourages municipalities to think creatively in achieving meaningful outcomes for residents using innovation, data and connected technology.

    The competition is open to all municipalities, local or regional governments, and Indigenous communities. Finalists will receive support to develop their smart cities proposals. Winning communities will be awarded with grant money to help implement them. 

    Why is Windsor Essex participating in the Challenge?

    Led by Connecting Windsor-Essex, the City of Windsor and the County of Essex are collaborating to submit a regional application to the Smart Cities Challenge - showcasing the strong partnerships, passion and determination within our communities throughout the region.  The SCC process provides a catalyst and opportunity to examine how connectivity, data and technology can better help us understand, plan for and overcome key challenges facing our region.  Once completed, we will then qualify for potential grant funding to implement a Smart City solution that benefits the community.

    Who are the partners on the SMART WINDSOR ESSEX team?

    Led by Connecting Windsor Essex, the City of Windsor, the County of Essex, the University of Windsor and St. Clair College are collaborating with community partners to take advantage of this opportunity, and implement ‘smart’ solutions aimed at our most pressing community needs.

    What are the three challenge areas SMART WINDSOR ESSEX is testing?

    Through the use of local statistics and our partners’ collective experience of working with and delivering vital services to residents in the community, the team identified several significant social and economic challenges facing the region. 

    Further analysis was used to examine three high-impact focus areas - “Poverty”, “Health” and “Employment” - as potential themes for our SCC bid.  This short list of potential challenge candidates will be tested widely within Windsor-Essex and refined to create a final challenge statement for the SCC proposal.

    How can I provide feedback?

    There are a number of ways to share your feedback for SMART WINDSOR ESSEX.
    1) You can complete our online survey by clicking on this link.
    2) You can contact one of the core partners or see "Who's Listening" to provide feedback.
    3) You can attend a Targeted Sector Session.
    4) You can poke, tweet, push or notify us on Social Media.

    Where can I find more information?

    The Document Library on this website houses all of the templates, data, information sheets and presentations that have been created for this project. Being as open and transparent with the community is a goal of our SMART WINDSOR ESSEX proposal.