Waterloo region named Smart Cities finalist

Posted on Friday June 01, 2018

Waterloo Region - Today, the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, announced Waterloo region as one of five finalists in the large municipalities category of the Smart Cities Challenge, a new, competition-based approach that encourages communities to come up with innovative solutions to their most pressing challenge.

Based on extensive public consultation, Waterloo region selected Healthy Children and Youth as its community challenge area, and developed the following challenge statement:

“We will become the benchmark community in Canada for child and youth wellbeing by using early intervention, youth engagement and a connected-community framework to create adaptive, data-driven programs and scalable learning technologies that improve early child development, mental health and high school graduation rates.”

UNICEF Canada has partnered with the Waterloo region through the One Youth Initiative to develop a real-time child and youth wellbeing dashboard. UNICEF Canada will work with the project partners to develop the measurement framework that will allow communities across the country to measure child and youth wellbeing against UNICEF Canada’s Index for Child and Youth Wellbeing. This dashboard will be created and tested locally, and scaled nationally. UNICEF Canada will lead the development of this measurement framework for communities across the country.

The Region and area municipalities will also partner with the Children and Youth Planning Table of Waterloo Region, Wellbeing Waterloo Region, two local school boards, three post-secondary institutions, not-for-profits, and community service and government organizations to create innovative data-driven solutions to help address gaps in child and youth wellbeing. Miovision, Google, Vidyard, Desire2Learn, Canada’s Open Data Exchange, Communitech and many other local tech companies are also partners.

Summaries of the finalists’ applications, along with their Challenge Statements and the evaluation criteria are posted on the Impact Canada website. Each finalist will receive a grant of $250,000 to further develop their innovative ideas into final proposals that outline all design, planning, privacy, data protection and project management components of their plans. The winners will be announced in spring 2019.



For more information, contact:

Bryan Stortz, Director, Corporate Communications, 519-575-4408

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