Durham Region named one of the top Smart21 communities

Ontario Construction News staff writer

Durham Region has been named a top Smart21 community for the second year in a row.

The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)’s Smart21 Communities program recognizes municipalities that are successfully leveraging data and digital assets to develop inclusive and prosperous communities.

“Durham Region is leading the way on the world stage. We are eager to capitalize on our legacy as builders in a new economy that features autonomous and electric vehicles, clean technology and innovative service delivery,” said John Henry, regional chair and CEO. “Being named as one of the top Smart21 Communities of the Year is a wonderful recognition of the important work being done to create the Durham of tomorrow, today.”

Through its intelligent communities plan, the Region of Durham is undergoing digital transformation and leading the way in innovation. Notable projects include:

  • Being the first regional municipality in Canada to bring Regional services to smart home devices—thanks to the myDurham 311 Smart Home Device Voice Service project.
  • Opening the doors for innovative local businesses to pitch new ideas to the Region through the Business Showcase Event.
  • Piloting the Whitby Autonomous Shuttle Pilot (WAVE), the first autonomous electric shuttle in North America, using smart infrastructure to support the transit and transportation industries to explore sustainable solutions for our future and address our collective challenges in a smart, connected way.
  • Engaging with small business to optimize road maintenance and pothole patching work through artificial intelligence.
  • Continuing to build capacity for innovation through programs such as CityStudio Durham, a program that builds partnerships among local post-secondary institutions, municipalities and Durham Regional Police Service.

To learn more about initiatives currently underway in Durham Region, visit durham.ca/IntelligentCommunities.

“The concept of ‘smart cities’ has evolved. Intelligent communities are focused on solving real-world problems, not just the ones that technology can address. We use data and technology to improve service delivery, but it is informed by our residents, businesses and partners. It’s about solving problems that matter to create a more connected, inclusive and sustainable region,” said Sandra Austin, director of strategic initiatives.


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