From eight finalists participating in the City of Montreal’s “info-snow” challenge, the team from Heritage Software has been selected and awarded a bursary of $5,000 to develop an app that uses the city’s open data to keep citizens informed about the status of parking and snow removal during Montreal’s notoriously deep and difficult winters.
The “info-snow” initiative is part of Mayor Denis Coderre’s overall intent to make Montreal a “smart city”, using technology to make city services more efficient, as well as more transparent and accessible to citizens.
“Our company actually went through a major pivot recently where we decided to stop creating apps at random and really focus on the municipal market,” Heritage Software founder Gregory Cerallo told the CBC, “so for us to be able to win this competition and really put our foot down in the municipal market in Quebec is huge.”
The award was announced Saturday at Notman House by Harout Chitilian, vice-president of the executive committee in charge of the “smart city” campaign, and Anie Samson, executive committee member responsible for public security and citizen services.
“Our administration intends to raise Montreal to the first rank among metropolises,” said Chitilian. “The smart snow removal system that we will deploy represents our desire to optimize the management of the city’s operations and to act with more transparency. This new tool will also reduce the uncertainty of citizens, who will monitor the progress of snow loading and thus avoid unnecessary towing of their vehicle.”
The runner-up teams received bursaries of $3,000 and $1,000. The city retained the services of the f. & co. consulting firm to source the talent to participate in “info-snow”.
The city will now offer a contract up to $25,000 to develop the app for use in five boroughs this coming winter as part of a pilot project. The city has allocated a total budget of $6.6 million to develop GPS and intelligent monitoring systems for snow removal operations across all 19 boroughs.