Surrey, British Columbia city councillor Bruce Hayne will be speaking on a panel called “Evolution of Communities: Unravelling the DNA of the Modern Smart City” at 10:00 a.m. on March 3 as part of the 2016 Globe Series Expo on climate change and sustainability in Vancouver.
This panel will feature government and business leaders discussing the future of smart cities and “robust, self-healing grids”, along with the general trend towards using technology improve real life for people in cities.
The panel’s speakers will include Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) Canada Executive Director John Jung, as well as Ger Baron, the City of Amsterdam’s CTO; David Gilford, the New York City Economic Development Corporation’s vice-president and director for Urban Innovation & Stability; Steve Leonard, the Infocomm Development of the Authority of Singapore’s executive deputy chairman; and Lorie Wigle, McAfee’s General Manager of IT Security Solutions.
“Surrey is a city in transition from a suburban past to a sustainable urban future,” writes ICF on its website. “On this road, it seeks to leave behind a reputation for sprawl, crime and limited economic potential. Home to some of the richest and poorest neighborhoods in the region, Surrey is building an innovation-based knowledge economy offering a much broader range of local opportunity.”
In focusing on Surrey, the ICF highlights the city’s Innovation Boulevard initiative, as well as their plans for building a smart and sustainable future, less dependent on private automobiles and focusing on deepening citizen engagement.
Later on Thursday, at 2:00 p.m., Surrey fire chief Len Garis and Mayor Linda Hepner will appear on a panel called “Advancing Intelligent Cities through Smart Partnerships: An International Mayoral Roundtable & Workshop on Smart Cities”, along with the mayors of Helskinki and Copenhagen and several other panelists participating in the earlier talk.
In October 2013, the city of Surrey launched a partnership with Vancouver community intelligence company Vision Critical, called City Speaks, to encourage citizen engagement with local government.
ICF is an international think tank, headquartered in New York, that promotes best practices relating to Intelligent Communities, leveraging a network of 145 municipalities and regions, 27 of which are Canadian.
Last October, the ICF selected eight Canadian cities as part of its Smart21 list, evaluating cities based on criteria like broadband and digital access, innovation, sustainability and knowledge workforce.
Surrey is one of three Canadian cities on the ICF 2016 Top7 shortlist for the Intelligent Community of the Year award.