The City of Mississauga is competing for the top spot – Intelligent Community of the Year – in a competition organized by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF), a global network of cities and regions which aims to help communities in the digital age find a new path to economic development and community growth.
The top community will be announced by ICF on October 28 at the conclusion of their upcoming ICF Summit 2021: Communities on the Verge.
An intelligent community, as defined by ICF, is the one that engages local universities and technical schools, entrepreneurs and established businesses as partners in planning and carrying out innovation projects. It looks at what can be sourced in the municipality or the region, where their expertise resides, and if some of the expertise and capabilities are missing, what the community must undertake to put them in place. It also means engaging the public in helping determine how and where the innovation should happen.
In July 2021, ICF named Mississauga one of the Top 7 Intelligent Communities globally. Last month, the city staff presented the ICF judging panel with “74 Reasons Why Mississauga is the top Intelligent Community.” These reasons run the gamut from innovations to activities that foster innovation, inclusion, and transparency.
Why is Mississauga a top intelligent community?
- Mississauga is Canada’s most connected city – home to Canada’s largest municipally-owned public sector (fibre optic) network with over 820 kilometres of fibre connecting more than 340 sites citywide, making the city attractive to new business and for future city building
- It offers online training, webinars, workshops and other resources for current and new businesses such as Workforce Development Programs, an Equity and Diversity Collective and a new B2B platform through Mississauga’s Economic Development Office (EDO) and the Mississauga Business Enterprise Centre (MBEC)
- It provides access to free public Wi-Fi in over 95 City facilities and more than 1,100 access points
- More than 500 connected MiWay buses to help people get around the city faster and more efficiently
- Its Advanced Traffic Management Centre has connected traffic signals and cameras to enhance traffic flow
- It conducts virtual Council, Committee and public meetings
- Chromebook and Hotspot lending programs are offered through the Mississauga Library – making technology accessible to all
- An Open Data Catalogue with over 200 data sets is available
- It holds an annual Hackathon event for developing new ways to improve everyday life in Mississauga through technology