Toronto Government Need to Join Hands with Startup Companies to Make it a Smart City – Reports TBOT
Despite the rapid increase of public-private-people partnership programs at the global scale, the scientific knowledge of collaborative innovation in cities is scarce. The role of the cities is expanding from the producer and buyer of services into an innovator of services.
A recent report by the Toronto Region board of Trade (TBOT) suggests that to set up Toronto as a smart city more developments in the field of technology and innovation need to be done.
In Toronto’s Smart Cities Summit 2017, that was held on May 10th, the report on ‘Framework for a smarter Toronto: A call for a collaborative action’, was released. The report concerned Toronto’s accomplishment in the smart solution space, and highlighted the ways the city can further develop smart solutions.
The report also highlights the survey report of 5 different divisions of Toronto that includes Energy and Environment, Toronto water, Transportation services, Toronto public health, and solid waste management. The report also ranked Toronto against other cities, such as Boston and London, in terms of cities that already possess smarter solutions.
As per the report, the Toronto ranked eight out of 500 amongst the world’s most innovative cities, and third out of the 10 best tech cities to live and work in.
The report also provides the information on few of the ongoing smart projects that are under the process of approval at Toronto’s various divisions. Among these projects are two of the major projects focusing on the more efficient process of transport and fulfilling water needs of the people of Toronto. The ‘My water Toronto’ is an online water use tool that provides the customer with on-demand water use details on desktop and mobile. The ‘Transportation service’s big data innovation team’ seeks to study emerging transportation dataset to better understand transportation issues across the city. The studies are believed to reduce the issues and help Toronto emerge as a smart city.
The report not only has the suggestive points towards development, but it also reflected few of the major challenges Toronto is facing in the effective transformation towards becoming a smart city. This includes transforming the ‘classic’ public services into the digital format. The digitization would further help in easy access and sharing of data ensuring flexibility.
The report was concluded with few suggestions for the smart city development. It recommends that to develop a smart city, the various divisions must have to collaborate and work collectively towards various genres. The departments need to come on board with same terms and innovative ideas for Toronto to develop with the latest technology. Developing more flexible procurement policies, finding smart funding opportunities, ensuring access to mass to innovative solutions are few of the steps that can be taken towards the development.
As per Jan De Silvia, President and CEO of Toronto Region Board of Trade (TBOT), a unified smart city is defined as one with job opportunities for youth, power to enhance value from infrastructure investments, and a substantial growth in the local economy and social equity.
Kristina Verner, vice president of innovation, sustainability and prosperity at waterfront Toronto, believes that the tech companies have the capability to develop much smarter technologies, and the government must encourage partnership and work towards the development of smart city joining hands with them.
The reports and expert advice all indicates that, for Toronto to become a smart city, the government, divisions, and tech companies need to join hands and work collectively. The city is heading towards the adoption of smart solutions and therefore, the partnership has to be nurtured amongst the authorities and regulators.