Seven Observations on Smart Cities Challenge Applications

The Smart Cities Challenge office recently released information on the Challenge participants and snippets from their applications. The CityInclusive team reviewed the data available and has several insights to share.

Application Overview

In total, 199 communities submitted application, either individually or as a group representing all provinces and territories, that amounts to a total of 130 applications.



  • The Challenge design worked: smaller communities responded overwhelmingly.

  • Cities joined forces to scale impact: there are a significant number of group applications.

  • There’s still a long way to go for increasing participation of First Nations communities.

  • Ambitious aims: a large number of small communities applied for a bigger prize.

  • Jobs, jobs jobs: communities in economically struggling provinces focused disproportionately on economic development.

  • Building inclusive communities: mid-sized cities, on average, prioritized empowerment and inclusion projects.

  • Big data and mobile applications came out as the top preferred technologies; autonomous vehicles the least.

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