Smart Leaders for Smart Cities

To ensure we are prepared for ‘smart cities’ that will be increasingly powered, influenced, or controlled by technology, data, and decision-making algorithms, Artengine and Impact Hub Ottawa hosted the Future Cities Forum on February 23rd-24th, bringing together hundreds of engaged citizens as well as 60 youth leaders, students, and young professionals from the technology, social impact, and creative/cultural sectors to explore and examine possible futures for our cities.

With communities across Canada currently preparing their proposals for the federal government’s Smart Cities Challenge, we anticipate this issue will remain top of mind for the foreseeable future. Run by Infrastructure Canada, the prize for a city the size of Ottawa is $50M, and economic development officials recently launched a public consultation process to engage citizens on issues and challenges our proposal should strive to solve. This is in conjunction with a parallel engagement process to envision what our city would look like with 2 million people, in order to inform our next Official Plan.

Both of these initiatives need your ideas and insights if we are to build a future city that is inclusive and equitable, even as technology plays a larger role in our lives. Be a part of shaping the dialogue around the future cities we want to build!

Make sure your voice is heard

  • Help inform the City of Ottawa’s process to create a competitive bid for the Government of Canada’s Smart City Challenge by sharing your ideas and insights (by March 11th!) about pressing challenges in our community, and how they might be addressed with data and technology. How can the City better use technology to make Ottawa an even better place to live, work and play?


  • The City is also conducting a study called Ottawa Next: Beyond 2036 to develop a series of scenarios that would describe Ottawa in the future based on current trends, potential disruptors and issues that will influence the growth of cities into the future. The scenarios will be used to help develop Ottawa’s next Official Plan. Share your thoughts on how Ottawa can position itself to prosper in the future while being ready to respond to unknown changes.


More on Smart Cities



  • Check out relevant links to articles and other resources, as well as insights from Future Cities Forum participants, by perusing the #futurecitiesforum hashtag on Twitter

James Chan