Technology has collided with democracy in Canada.
The current approach to smart cities in Canada lacks a systematic emphasis on interoperability, strong public governance, and protecting the value of public data.
As cities increasingly deploy connected, data-gathering infrastructure, they risk outsourcing the public domain to large vendors, running closed systems which encroach on public control of its infrastructure and data.
The long term-risk is a slow erosion of the capacity of our cities to govern their own domain.
To avoid this, certain layers of the smart city must be created in the public interest. We need new digital public infrastructure for Canadian cities. This path will protect democratic institutions, drive government innovation nurture a vibrant Canadian technology ecosystem.
The Open City Network is a not for profit organization that builds digital public infrastructure (DPI) for smart cities in Canada. It is mobilizing a working coalition across the public, private and NGO sectors to create smart city architecture, standards and protocols in the public interest.
We also advocate for:
- Open architecture as the foundation of DPI;
- The public sector to protect the value of public data;
- Modernized regulations for smart city technologies;
- Sustained investments in the digital and cultural modernization of our city institutions.