Community Benefit Summary
St. Albert's unique and comprehensive Smart City Master Plan describes how to cultivate the community as a place where government is increasingly efficient and effective, residents enjoy high quality programs and services, and business is thriving.
A Smart City approach enables St. Albert to improve the lives of residents, support local business, and help drive the community’s long-term sustainability. As St. Albert evolves as a Smart City, so will its competitive position with other cities across Canada and the world.
Residents and Visitors
Residents and visitors will enjoy a safer, more connected, convenient, sustainable, and livable community. Some examples within the Smart City Master Plan include:
- Intelligent transportation systems will optimize travel times and safety on St. Albert’s roads and other thoroughfares, drivers may check for public parking spots before their arrival, and new transit services will be offered that support rider convenience and productivity.
- Fast access to the Internet will be almost everywhere in the community, and homes will enjoy the Internet speeds that they need to take advantage of new digital services and economic opportunities.
- As an ‘open government’, the City will actively ensure residents have free and easy access to all non-confidential civic data, and that the public has open access to government decision-making processes.
- New and expanded online services will be launched, supporting interactivity, personalization, and anytime / anywhere access.
- A new mobile application that offers consolidated city information, direct notifications, and other personalized features will be launched. Support in using these features will also be offered to those who require it, ensuring that all may enjoy the benefits of a Smart City.
- Amenities will be infused with convenience features to improve their practicality and public appeal, such as public charging stations, interactive features, digital messaging, and more.
- Events that stimulate innovation discussion and activity will be hosted to engage the community, and local innovators will be engaged to create future community programs and services, and identify ways to tackle local issues.
- Environmental conditions will be actively monitored through embedded sensors, residents will have real-time utility information and usage alerts at their fingertips, and systems will be installed in municipal facilities and infrastructure that will help to minimize energy use and generate clean, resilient, and cost effective local power.
Local business will be supported in testing new ideas, identifying market opportunities, and realizing greater commercial success and/or reduced costs. Some examples within the Smart City Master Plan include:
- Hyper-fast Internet connectivity will be available in business areas at reasonable rates.
- Testing of new products, services, and ideas will be welcomed and supported in St. Albert, through a new ‘living lab’ program focused on innovation and commercialization.
- Municipal purchasing of goods and services will be as flexible and collaborative as possible, to promote more opportunity for partnerships and innovation.
- St. Albert’s reputation as a Canadian Smart City Centre of Excellence will attract new business, grow local markets, create jobs, and unlock new business trade opportunities and connections as the community is introduced to the world.
- Businesses will have instant access to information on their current and past utility consumption (water, refuse, natural gas, and electricity), and receive direct notices if a costly leak or other issue is detected.
- The City of St. Albert will provide its non-personal data and key analytics to local business free of charge, improving business information and supporting potential commercialization.
- Technology entrepreneurs looking to locate in St. Albert will discover areas of the community that have been designated for like-minded innovators to work together and business incubation services designed specifically for them. Opportunities will also be open to work side-by-side with municipal officials, researchers, and other businesses in a unique innovation centre focused on solving urban issues and bringing relevant products to market.
- Those businesses that require support to take advantage of all the features of a Smart City, particularly in relation to their operations, will have access to targeted programs and innovation events. Those that are most successful will be recognized and have their story spread widely.
The municipality itself will enjoy an enhanced ability to achieve the Community Vision, generate operational efficiencies, build innovation into program and service delivery, and make more informed decisions. Some examples within the Smart City Master Plan include:
- The City’s digital network infrastructure will be expanded to connect all of its infrastructure and assets, supporting cost savings over time, better employee collaboration, and faster and larger data transmissions.
- A wide-reaching sensor array will be installed on the City’s digital network to facilitate real-time infrastructure condition monitoring, remote system controls, traffic and environmental sensing, and much more.
- New analytical capacity within the City will also extract maximum intelligence and value from data, meaning better information and more informed decisions.
- Systems will be in place that manage buildings and other assets remotely, detect potential problems as they arise, or automate some responses to minimize the need for human intervention. The condition and location of the City’s vehicles will be monitored as well, improving maintenance, safety, and potential for improved public information.
- A consolidated Smart City operations centre will developed to bring together multiple functions such as emergency services, transportation, facility management, and more – this will generate ongoing efficiencies, promote better service, and form the ‘brain’ of St. Albert’s operations.
- The ability of City employees to collaborate, improve productivity, and identify more effective approaches to service delivery will be enhanced by removing innovation barriers, offering mobile and digital workplace tools, and promoting broad collaboration.
- St. Albert’s competitive position relative to other cities is also reinforced by its Smart City activities. Attracting people who want to live, work, and invest in a place as forward-thinking as St. Albert is key to the city’s ongoing success and sustainability. Being one of the first to put forward a strategy of this kind, the community also has an opportunity to position itself as a leader and reference site for others, a place where ideas can be tested, and a beacon for new investment which will reduce pressure on local tax requirements over time.
Last edited: December 6, 2019