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Surrey Qualifies For World’s Smart21 Communities

Surrey Creep Catchers

Photo: City of Surrey

The City of Surrey is continuing to boom and is once again receiving international attention after being selected by the Intelligent Community Forum as one of the World’s Smart21 Communities of 2016.

Surrey joins seven Canadian cities as one of the 21 semi-finals, including Montreal, Winnipeg, and Ottawa. The rest of the list comprises of five communities from Taiwan, two communities from Australia, two communities from the United States of America, and one community each from New Zealand, Germany, The Netherlands, and Sweden.

All of the 21 semi-finalists scored high on IFM’s criteria for intelligent communities, as indicated by conceptual framework for success in the broadband economy. The awards are guided by this year’s theme, from Revolution to Renaissance, which focuses on how Intelligent Communities plan their future at a time when the economy, the environment, and the patterns of urban and rural life are undergoing dramatic change.

Surrey lead its way to contention by implementing it’s “Smart Surrey Strategy” which outlines the Council’s progressive approach in building a city that uses technology and innovation to transform life and work. Key initiatives include:

  • IBM Watson in Mobile App – Surrey launched a first-of-its-kind pilot projects to integrate IBM Watson technology into its “MySurrey App.” This technology allows City customers to input questions into the application and receive direct answers rather than a traditional list of search results.


  • Surrey Broadband Strategy – The City’s plans are to significantly improve high-speed broadband availability and affordability in the City, including free city-wide public Wi-Fi, and exploring opportunities to install telecommunications conduit during city construction projects to increase City Centre’s broadband services.


  • Real Time Travel Time Information System – Surrey will be the first city in the province to install a system that uses Bluetooth technology and Dynamic Messaging Signs on key corridors to improve to enables travellers to select the optimal route based on real time traffic conditions.


  • Innovation Boulevard – The Innovation Boulevard partnership achieved a number of successes in 2015 including the opening of the Health Tech Innovation Hub across the street from Surrey Memorial Hospital that brings together companies, scientists, researchers and universities to accelerate the growth of health care technologies.


  • Technology Entrepreneurship @SFU – Tech e@sfu is a program that pairs SFU engineering and business students to develop a new technology venture. In the first two years, 53 students enrolled in the program and five early-stage tech ventures were created during the 2015 cohort.


  • Party for the Planet – Party for the Planet, an annual Sustainability-focused event that attracts 15,000 attendees, is one way the City engages with its residents about actions they can take to create a vibrant future.

The award for the most Intelligent Community of the Year will be announced in June 2016 at the ICF Summit in Columbus, Ohio.

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