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Bologna: The Evolution of a Collaborative Smart City

By Jon Glasco on Nov 28, 2018 12:38:15 AM

Bologna, the seventh largest city in Italy[1] and capital of the Emilia-Romagna region, was recently named as one of the top three smart cities in the country. The city was praised for its decisions and actions to "bring together the quality of the environment, welfare policies and territorial innovation in an overall balance."[2] This smart city portrait provides a summary of Bologna's strategy and vision of a citizen-centric collaborative future.

The Force of a Collaborative Persona

When it comes to citizen-inspired innovation, cities often face a problem. The problem is that outdated regulations and inflexible rules become barriers when citizens wish to improve a local park, increase pedestrian safety or make other changes in their community—even when such changes increase quality of life.[3] However, the city of Bologna recognized opportunities to collaborate with citizens and improve neighborhoods and urban spaces.[4]

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Alba Iulia Smart City: Solutions For A Digital City

By Lisa Smith on Nov 21, 2018 11:47:27 PM

Certain smart cities around the world are leading by example. By examining the strategies that are delivering the highest impact, these best practices can be more widely adopted to replicate their success.

This city portrait is in two parts. The first part (Alba Iulia Smart City: How Central Romania Quietly Created a Hidden Champion in Europe) described the ambitious plans of the Alba Iulia City Hall as it uses tourism and strong partnerships with private companies to transform Alba Iulia into Romania’s first smart city. This second part takes a closer look at some of the smart solutions being implemented there.

Organizing Alba Iulia’s Transformation

The municipal administration of Alba Iulia – a city of around 74,000 in Transylvania, central Romania – was announced in march to be a finalist in the country’s ‘Business Review Awards 2018’ for its efforts in transforming Alba County’s capital into Romania’s first smart city.[1] As Romania’s centenary celebrations approach, the city that formed the historical backdrop to its Great Union will complete the first part of its ambitious plans, having developed, tested or indeed fully implemented over 100 smart solutions.

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Smart City Portrait: Palo Alto

By Lisa Smith on Oct 1, 2018 11:06:20 AM

Certain smart cities around the world are leading by example. By examining the solutions that are delivering the highest impact, these best practices can be more widely adopted to replicate their success.

Palo Alto’s Smart City Strategy

A comparatively small American city in the very center of Silicon Valley, Palo Alto has thrown itself into the smart city scene, founding a number of tech-driven projects to solve the problems of its 67,000 citizens.[1] The first challenge to overcome, however, is its size: Palo Alto will need to pioneer smart resource management in order to fund the deployment of its smart city initiatives and the larger-scale implementation of any successful solutions.

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Alba Iulia Smart City: How Central Romania Quietly Created a Hidden Champion in Europe

By Lisa Smith on Sep 27, 2018 2:13:35 PM

Certain smart cities around the world are leading by example. By examining the strategies that are delivering the highest impact, these best practices can be more widely adopted to replicate their success.

This city portrait is in two parts. This first part describes the ambitious plans of the Alba Iulia City Hall as it uses tourism and strong partnerships to transform Alba Iulia into Romania’s first smart city. The second part takes a closer look at some of the more than 100 smart city solutions being implemented there.

Welcome to Alba Iulia, the First Smart City in Romania

In Alba County, Transylvania, nestles a small city with a big plan. Alba Iulia, the principality’s earlier capital and a symbol of the Great Union of Romania a hundred years ago, has set its sights on becoming Romania’s first smart city. Its pilot project, officially launched in December 2016, is set for being showcased in 2018 – with the occasion of the Romanian Centennial year – and continuing in 2019 also.[1]

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Smart City Portrait: Bhubaneswar, India

By Sarah Wray on Sep 24, 2018 10:46:53 AM

Bhubaneswar is the capital of the state of Odisha in India. Known as “the Temple City”, it is an emerging hub for education, health and information technology, as well as a popular tourist destination. The city has a population of around 840,000[1] and has won a number of awards and titles – for example, it is:

  • The only Tier-2 city in India where all of India’s top five companies have bases. These are Infosys, Wipro, Tata Consultancy Services, Tech Mahindra and Mindtree.
  • Ranked as the third best place to do business in India by the World Bank.
  • One of the planned four Information Technology Investment Regions in India.
  • American Planning Association’s Pierre L'Enfant International Planning Excellence Award Winner 2017[2].

Bhubaneswar was selected as one of the first 20 Indian cities to be developed under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship Smart Cities Mission.

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Smart City Portrait: Seoul (Part II)

By Lisa Smith on Aug 29, 2018 11:14:58 AM

Certain smart cities around the world are leading by example. By examining the solutions that are delivering the highest impact, these best practices can be more widely adopted to replicate their success.

This city portrait is in two parts. The first part described the reorganization of the Seoul Municipal Government in order to empower citizens and create a stronger climate of citizen participation at all possible administrative levels. This second part takes a closer look at some of the specific smart solutions being implemented by the city.

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Smart City Portrait: Seoul (Part I)

By Lisa Smith on Aug 27, 2018 11:11:28 AM

Certain smart cities around the world are leading by example. By examining the solutions that are delivering the highest impact, these best practices can be more widely adopted to replicate their success.

This city portrait is in two parts. This first part describes the reorganization of the Seoul Municipal Government in order to empower citizens and create a stronger climate of citizen participation at all possible administrative levels. The second part takes a closer look at some of the specific smart solutions being implemented by the city.

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Smart Prague: Building a Bridge to a Smart Future

By Jon Glasco on Aug 5, 2018 11:39:49 PM

Prague, capital city of the Czech Republic, has been known during its renowned history as a magnet of commercial, cultural, scientific and political activity. This thriving city, also known as the City of a Hundred Spires, is home to more than 1.2 million people and generates an estimated 25 percent of the Czech Republic's GDP. With its enchanting architecture, visual charms and historic landmarks, Prague is listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site.[1]

If we could travel back in time to visit Prague in the 14th century, we would see builders constructing the Charles Bridge across the Vltava River to connect the city's Staré Město (Old Town) with Malá Strana (Lesser Town). Fast forward to the 21st century and we observe Prague striving to build a new type of bridge. As this article reveals, it is a bridge of urban transformation connecting today's city to a smart city future.

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Smart City Portrait: Zaragoza

By Jon Glasco on Jul 1, 2018 7:56:20 PM

Zaragoza: Pioneering a Citizen-Centric Smart City Vision

Fifteen years ago, Zaragoza - the historic Spanish city situated between Madrid and Barcelona - pioneered a vision of a future digital district and knowledge-based society. Since then, the city has developed an impressive portfolio of smart city projects and new urban services. According to Daniel Sarasa, Urban Innovation Planner in Zaragoza and internationally recognized smart city innovator, one of Zaragoza's unique strengths is its culture of citizen involvement and participation. This culture has its roots in the reawakening of democracy. In the late 1970s, the city of Zaragoza (like other cities in Spain) looked back on thirty five years of dictatorship – and looked ahead to an uncertain future. During the years of dictatorship, Zaragoza had grown in population from approximately 235,000 to more than 500,000, but the civic infrastructure and public services needed to support this urban growth were inhibited by an autocratic national government which maintained severe austerity measures.

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Smart City Portrait: Taoyuan City

By Lisa Smith on Jun 1, 2018 6:21:20 PM

ICF Top 7 Intelligent Communities – Taoyuan City

The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) releases an annual selection of seven different communities which it considers to have achieved a certain level of intelligence in the way they respond to the challenges of globalization and urbanization or, as the ICF prefers to call it, the Broadband Economy.[1] The selection of communities for 2018 was released in February, and can be found listed on the bee smart city website.[2] The Intelligent Community of the Year was chosen from among the Top 7 and announced at the ICF Global Summit in June.

Taoyuan City, Taiwan - Creating The Asian 'Silicon Valley'

Taoyuan City is positioning itself to be a hub for business and innovation in Taiwan. Located in the north of the island, not far from the nation’s capital of Taipei, Taoyuan City can count a third of Taiwan’s top manufacturers amongst its 47,000 companies, including the largest number of logistics companies on the island. Knowing that strong logistics systems and their supporting infrastructure are a necessary component to attract new businesses and encourage economic growth, the city took things a step further and established the Taoyuan Aerotropolis, and designated its international airport a free trade zone. It has also developed its transportation systems to swiftly and reliably connect its two million citizens both with one another and with their neighbors: as many as 261 bus routes criss-cross the city, and high-speed rail networks link it with Taipei and New Taipei City to the northeast and Hsinchu and Miaoli to the southwest.[3]

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Smart City Portrait: Winnipeg

By Lisa Smith on May 28, 2018 1:56:35 AM

ICF Top 7 Intelligent Communities – Winnipeg

The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) releases an annual selection of seven different communities which it considers to have achieved a certain level of intelligence in the way they respond to the challenges of globalization and urbanization or, as the ICF prefers to call it, the Broadband Economy.[1] The selection of communities for 2018 was released in February, and can be found listed on the bee smart city website.[2] The Intelligent Community of the Year was chosen from among the Top 7 and announced at the ICF Global Summit in June.

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada - Driving the Smart Economy

The Forks, the number one tourist destination and historic site in Winnipeg, capital of Manitoba, overlooks the crossing of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, where humans are said to have gathered for at least 6000 years. When Winnipeg had its first council meeting as an incorporated city in 1874, it had a settled population of just 3700. It is now larger by around 300,000 people than Hamilton, its fellow Canadian city on the ICF's Top 7 shortlist for the 2018 Intelligent Community of the Year.[3]

Over the next 20 years, Winnipeg anticipates a growth of around 200,000 people to reach a six-figure population. In order to accommodate that change in an inclusive and citizen-centric way, the city introduced OurWinnipeg, a 25-year holistic development plan based on survey feedback from its residents that covered city services, health and quality of life, transportation and mobility, and all aspects of sustainable growth management.

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Smart City Portrait: Tainan City

By Lisa Smith on May 22, 2018 12:15:16 AM

ICF Top 7 Intelligent Communities – Tainan City (Taiwan)

The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) releases an annual selection of seven different communities which it considers to have achieved a certain level of intelligence in the way they respond to the challenges of globalization and urbanization or, as the ICF prefers to call it, the Broadband Economy.[1] The selection of communities for 2018 was released in February, and can be found listed on the bee smart city website.[2] The Intelligent Community of the Year was chosen from among the Top 7 and announced at the ICF Global Summit in June.

Intelligent Community Tainan City, Taiwan

Taiwan’s oldest city dates back to 1590,[3] when the area of what is now known as Tainan City was first settled by the Chinese. After being retaken from Dutch settlers in 1662, it became the seat of government and remained Taiwan’s capital until 1885. Today, it is still a major political, economic and cultural center for the country.[4] But while Tainan City celebrates its rich past, it is also looking forward, investing in the future of its roughly 1.9 million citizens by placing a strong emphasis on their quality of life and their ability to participate directly in their city’s development. Like Chiayi City to its north,[5] Tainan City, Taiwan, has been recognized as one of the most intelligent communities of 2018. Building its sustainable industries, offering free digital education, and demonstrating a strongly citizen-centric focus are what is putting it on the smart city map.

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Smart City Portrait: Ipswich

By Lisa Smith on May 21, 2018 11:13:45 AM

ICF Top 7 Intelligent Communities – Ipswich (Queensland, Australia)

The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) releases an annual selection of seven different communities which it considers to have achieved a certain level of intelligence in the way they respond to the challenges of globalization and urbanization or, as the ICF prefers to call it, the Broadband Economy.[1] The selection of communities for 2018 was released in February, and can be found listed on the bee smart city website.[2] The Intelligent Community of the Year was chosen from among the Top 7 and announced at the ICF Global Summit in June.

Ipswich, Australia - Following a Holistic Smart City Program

The city of Ipswich is young – that is to say, it has the youngest population on average in all of Queensland, Australia – and it is also growing faster than any other city in the state. Currently boasting around 200,000 inhabitants, its government projects that almost another three hundred thousand people will call the city home within the next twenty years, more than doubling its population and ensuring a need for an estimated 120,000 new employment opportunities. In preparation for this expansion, the Ipswich City Council created a twenty-year plan for the development of the city. Now in 2018, seven years later, the council has decided to extend its original plans by setting up a Smart City Program to direct the city’s growth. This kind of carefully guided development is possibly the reason it has been on the radar of the ICF since 2010, and is now in the running for Intelligent Community of the Year 2018.

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Smart City Portrait: Hamilton

By Lisa Smith on Apr 29, 2018 11:14:55 PM

ICF Top 7 Intelligent Communities – Hamilton (Ontario, Canada)

The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) releases an annual selection of seven different communities which it considers to have achieved a certain level of intelligence in the way they respond to the challenges of globalization and urbanization or, as the ICF prefers to call it, the Broadband Economy.[1] The selection of communities for 2018 was released in February, and can be found listed on the bee smart city website.[2] The Intelligent Community of the Year was chosen from among the Top 7 and announced at the ICF Global Summit in June.

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada - Creating a Smart Future

At the western end of Canada’s Lake Ontario nestles a city of almost 540,000 culturally diverse people. Once handling 60% of Canada’s steel production and earning the title ‘the Steel Capital of Canada’, its steel operations are now waning and the industrial city of Hamilton is looking for a new foundation for the future of its inhabitants.

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Smart City Portrait: Espoo

By Lisa Smith on Apr 19, 2018 11:53:54 AM

ICF Intelligent Community of the Year 2018 – Espoo

The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) releases an annual selection of seven different communities which it considers to have achieved a certain level of intelligence in the way they respond to the challenges of globalization and urbanization or, as the ICF prefers to call it, the Broadband Economy.[1] The selection of communities for 2018 was released in February, and can be found listed on the bee smart city website.[2] Espoo was recognized as the Intelligent Community of the Year 2018 at the ICF Global Summit in London.

Intelligent Community Espoo, Finland

Second in size to Helsinki and its neighbor on Finland’s southern coast, Espoo boasts a population of around 270,000 people – a significant increase from the 22,000 who called it home just a generation ago. Having transformed from a regional municipality into an industrial city with a large number of residents working in electronics and engineering, Espoo is now being recognized for its developments as an intelligent community.

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Smart City Portrait: Chiayi City, Taiwan

By Lisa Smith on Apr 8, 2018 9:10:42 PM

ICF Top 7 Intelligent Communities – Chiayi City

The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) releases an annual selection of seven different communities which it considers to have achieved a certain level of intelligence in the way they respond to the challenges of globalization and urbanization or, as the ICF prefers to call it, the Broadband Economy.[1] The selection of communities for 2018 was released in February, and can be found listed on the bee smart city website.[2] The Intelligent Community of the Year was chosen from among the Top 7 and announced at the ICF Global Summit in June.

Chiayi City, Taiwan - an incredibly 'smart' city!

In Chinese, 'Chiayi' means 'awarded for loyalty'. The city was given this name in 1787 by the Chinese emperor after a 10-month siege, to reward the bravery of its citizens during that time.[3] Chiayi City, now a provincial city of around sixty square kilometers in south-central Taiwan with a population of roughly 270,000 people, is being recognized once again for a very different sort of achievement.

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Smart City Portrait: Antwerp

By Lily Maxwell on Mar 24, 2018 4:05:18 AM

Antwerp: the European ‘Capital of Things’

Antwerp is the economic hub of Belgium; as the Mayor of Antwerp, Bart de Wever, is fond of saying, “Antwerp is the city where the money is earned, Brussels is the city where the money is spent”[1]. This is understandable: Antwerp is the second largest port in Europe, and the 5th largest worldwide. It therefore plays an important economic role not just in Europe but on an international scale, and this is without even mentioning its status as the global diamond trade hub. With 550,000 inhabitants who span around 174 nationalities, Antwerp is also a small but incredibly diverse city. Its slogan ‘Atypical Antwerp’ seems fitting for an economically thriving city where architectural remnants of Flemish history and culture co-exist alongside a vibrant immigrant population, and an increasing number of innovative smart city initiatives. In many ways, the economically secure yet creative Antwerp is the perfect breeding ground for smart city development, as we will explore in this article.

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Smart City Portrait: Eindhoven

By Lisa Smith on Feb 27, 2018 10:43:53 PM

Certain smart cities around the world are leading by example. By examining the solutions that are delivering the highest impact, these best practices can be more widely adopted to replicate their success. This smart city portrait provides an overview on the smart city approach and intelligent solutions implemented in the Dutch City of Eindhoven. For its achievements, especially in regards to open innovation, the City of Eindhoven was named the "Intelligent Community of the Year 2011" by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF).

Eindhoven’s Smart City Strategy

Together with Manchester (UK) and Stavanger (Norway), Eindhoven is acting as a ‘Lighthouse City’ for the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Triangulum project,[1] seeking to drive smart city innovations globally by demonstrating real solutions that are smart, sustainable, and inclusive. The project places a focus on the areas of energy use and CO2 emissions, open data and data infrastructure, sustainable and affordable housing, and the proliferation of joint-ownership in projects, engaging and empowering the citizens to take greater roles in the ongoing development of their living and working spaces.

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Smart Nation Portrait: Singapore

By Lisa Smith on Feb 12, 2018 9:17:09 PM

Certain smart cities around the world are leading by example. By examining the solutions that are delivering the highest impact, these best practices can be more widely adopted to replicate their success. This smart city portrait provides an overview on the smart city strategy and intelligent solutions implemented in the City and nation-state of Singapore.

Singapore’s Smart Nation Strategy

Cities all over the world are applying new technologies to solve their problems and become smarter. Singapore’s take on technology, as endorsed by bee smart city,[1] is that it should not be an end in itself – it should be made to serve the people, who should be firmly at the center of the smart city concept.

Singapore can be regarded as one of the 'early movers' in the smart city movement, being recognized as the first "Intelligent Community of the Year" by the Intelligent Community Forum in 1999.[2] In recent years, the city was top-ranked as one of the world's smartest cities. Tying with Chicago and slipping in only a single point behind Vienna,[3] Singapore took second place on Roland Berger’s recent Smart City Index.[4] It was also named ‘Global Smart City – 2016’ by Juniper Research, for its "fixed and cellular broadband services, city apps and strong open data policy”.[5]

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Smart City Portrait: Vienna

By Lisa Smith on Jan 28, 2018 2:40:16 AM

Certain smart cities around the world are leading by example. By examining the solutions that are delivering the highest impact, these best practices can be more widely adopted to replicate their success. This smart city portrait provides an overview on the smart city strategy and intelligent solutions implemented in the Austrian City of Vienna.

Vienna – A Collaborative Smart City

Vienna has placed a strong focus on the collaborative nature of growing smarter. In 2014, Austria’s capital decided to adopt a strategy generated with the help of businesses, research institutes, public servants and private citizens to decide on the directions the city should take as it develops.

The preservation of resources, productive innovation and new technologies, and improving the quality of life were the top three things people wanted the strategy to focus on. The areas identified for long-term improvement were then broken down and specific goals were set to help the city “achieve growth while reducing resource consumption”,[7] right through to the year 2050.

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Smart City Portrait: Barcelona

By Lisa Smith on Jan 22, 2018 12:02:31 AM

Certain smart cities around the world are leading by example. By examining the solutions that are delivering the highest impact, these best practices can be more widely adopted to replicate their success. This smart city portrait provides an overview on the smart city strategy and intelligent solutions implemented in the City of Barcelona.

Barcelona’s Smart City Strategy

Barcelona is no newcomer to the smart city scene. In 2011 it launched a project designed to make the city more innovative, listing the sustainability of energy use and of mobility, open data initiatives, flexible smart services and social initiatives as key areas for development, and it encouraged connections among researchers in both the public and private sectors with a focus on these topics.

One major early step for Barcelona was to establish new technological infrastructure on a massive scale to support and improve upon the city’s services. It created citywide networks of different types of sensors, providing real-time feedback on everything from air quality to noise, energy and waste management. Coupled with free WiFi around the city, this new level of connectivity and data collection allowed Barcelona to become a testbed for smart projects driven by the Internet of Things.

Barcelona was officially recognized as a smart city back in 2014 by the European Commission, taking the very first European Capital of Innovation prize for "introducing the use of new technologies to bring the city closer to citizens".[1] The city had indeed pursued the application of technology to generate smart solutions for the problems most relevant to its citizens – but with mixed results.

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Smart City Portrait: Amsterdam

By Lisa Smith on Dec 10, 2017 7:32:31 PM

Certain smart cities around the world are leading by example. By examining the solutions that are delivering the highest impact, these best practices can be more widely adopted to replicate their success. This smart city portrait provides an overview on the smart city strategy and intelligent solutions implemented in the City of Amsterdam.

Amsterdam, the Dutch capital city, is one of the early adopters of smart city strategies in Europe, following their strategic approach to become smarter since 2008. Today, the city is one of the leading smart cities in Europe.

Amsterdam's Smart City Approach

Amsterdam, the Dutch capital city, was one of the early adopters of the smart city concept in Europe. Following a holistic strategy to become smarter that launched in 2009, it has become one of the leading smart cities in Europe and, in 2016, was named the European Capital of Innovation by the European Commission.

Holistic approaches modelled on a quadruple helix concept – government, businesses, universities & research institutions, and citizens – are key to the creation of a truly smart city. Amsterdam realized this fact early on, adopting a bottom-up methodology based on smart growth, startups, social inclusion and quality of life.[1] The city’s approach covers all of the relevant fields of action for a municipality, which can be summarized by the indicators smart economy, smart environment, smart government, smart living, smart mobility and smart people.

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Smart City Portrait: Toronto

By Lisa Smith on Dec 9, 2017 3:38:35 PM

Certain smart cities around the world are leading by example. By examining the solutions that are delivering the highest impact, these best practices can be more widely adopted to replicate their success. This smart city portrait provides an overview on the smart city strategy and intelligent solutions implemented in the City of Toronto.

Toronto, Canada's largest city, has long been working on becoming smarter, being awarded the "Intelligent Community of the Year" by the Intelligent Community Forum in 2014. In 2015 the city made a big leap through a partnership with CityZenith. With a citizen-centric approach and the recently announced partnership with Google's Sidewalk Labs, the city now aspires to take another big leap forward to become one of the smartest North American cities.

Toronto’s Smart City Strategy

Strong collaborations are a good foundation for any successful smart city strategy, and Toronto’s smart city approach has certainly led it to form some powerful relationships.

Waterfront Toronto is the body in charge of revitalizing the city’s waterfront real estate, which has long boasted little infrastructure despite its apparently prime location in Canada’s largest city. It has now partnered with Sidewalk Labs, tasking the Google-spawned startup company with the re-development and re-envisioning of Toronto’s Quayside area as a testbed for truly smart living, creating a unique smart city solutions ecosystem.

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