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OSHAWA – The City of Oshawa is competing to win up to $10 million in Infrastructure Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge.

The City’s submission focuses on empowering residents in low-income neighbourhoods by improving much-needed access to digital technology and their ability to get the services they need to fully participate in the economy.

The City’s submission aims to enhance economic and social equality across the city, beginning in a priority neighbourhood, Lakeview (the southern portion of Oshawa, south of Highway 401).

Residents and community stakeholders would work alongside the City to close the ‘digital divide’ by co-designing a digital Prosperity and Wellbeing Partnership which would include:

  • increasing internet coverage in the Lakeview neighbourhood
  • improving access to digital technologies at affordable and sustainable prices for residents in the neighbourhood
  • ensuring residents have the skills and digital literacy required to benefit from digital technologies
  • establishing a digital platform, driven by artificial intelligence, that puts the economic and social needs of residents first and sources the public and private services required to improve their economic and social potential
  • advancing the digital strategies and capabilities of the participating agencies and partners to help expand reach into the community and provide enhanced services

“The City of Oshawa is well-positioned in its bid for the Smart Cities Challenge title,” said Oshawa Mayor John Henry. “Already a Smart21 Community, Oshawa has proven throughout its ongoing economic transformation to be a leader in using advanced technology to improve its services and quality of life.  We continue to be committed to investing in the City’s infrastructure and our community.”

The City followed a three-phased approach for Oshawa’s Smart Cities Challenge: Community Engagement & Consultation; Project Identification & Selection; and, Business Plan Development.

An extensive public consultation process identified community needs, project ideas and challenge areas and helped determine Oshawa’s priority issue for the Challenge.

More than 450 community members shared their feedback through surveys, an open house and community-based workshops. Additionally, 10 stakeholder roundtables involved 50 stakeholders including representatives from residents’ groups, educational institutions, social service agencies, library, public utility and the private sector.

The next step in the Challenge is Infrastructure Canada’s announcement of finalists, which is expected to take place in summer 2018. Finalists will receive a $250,000 grant to further develop a more detailed proposal and supporting business plan.

To view Oshawa’s Smart Cities Challenge submission and to learn more, visit www.oshawa.ca/scc.

For updates on the City of Oshawa, visit www.oshawa.ca and sign up for news, alerts and e-newsletters. Stay connected with us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and Connect Oshawa.

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