Columbia Basin communities are looking for your input on how to make the region’s coveted lifestyles even more technologically savvy.

Across the globe, even in areas as relatively remote as BC’s interior, technology is transforming the way we live. Sometimes for the better, sometimes not so much.

In an effort to find ways that improve lifestyles in the Kootenays, the Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute has unveiled The Smart Cities Challenge — and they’re asking for some input from readers of Kootenay Mountain Culture and Coast Mountain Culture.

The Government of Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge is a nationwide competition encouraging cities to submit proposals that showcase their best ideas to improve the lives of their residents through the use of data and connected technology. Finalists will receive $250,000 to begin to implement their technology solutions and build a proposal to spend $10 million.

For further information regarding the Smart Cities Challenge, please review the summary presentation in the slides below.

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What Is a Smart City?

Smart cities use data and technology to create efficiencies, improve sustainability, create economic development, and enhance quality of life factors for people living and working in the city.

Smart Kootenays

The Cities of Rossland, Trail, Castlegar and Nelson and surrounding areas have partnered with economic development practitioners and technology entrepreneurs to explore ways our communities can use technology to address some of our biggest challenges. Members of the group have gathered feedback from their respective communities on challenges where data & technology can be utilized to overcome barriers in our rural area.

Challenge and initial technology solutions were identified through Thought Exchange input from over 100 residents and a stakeholder engagement session.

The Challenge

Our mountainous terrain makes it difficult and sometimes unsafe to travel. It also makes it hard to connect with each other and the outside world.

Why is this important?

Technology solutions can improve our lives in the following ways:

  • Making it easier to move around safely, more affordably and sustainably
  • Helping us to stay connected and engaged with each other and the outside world

Please help now to further shape the proposal:

Specific to moving around safely, reliably and staying connected (with each other), what would successful implementation of the Smart Cities Challenge look like in your life and our communities?

Click here to take part!