Guelph-Wellington bid wins $10 million in Smart Cities Challenge – GuelphToday

Guelph-Wellington bid wins $10 million in Smart Cities Challenge - GuelphToday
Guelph-Wellington bid wins $10 million in Smart Cities Challenge
The City of Guelph and County of Wellington have won the $10 million prize in the federal government's Smart Cities Challenge.

The City of Guelph and County of Wellington’s joint proposal has won the $10 million prize in the federal government’s Smart Cities Canada Challenge.

The challenge encouraged communities to utilize the possibility of connected technology and data to better the lives of Canadians. Participants created proposals and submitted them to the selection committee.

The “Our Food Future” plan aims to help the community create a circular food economy and move away from the current “take-make-dispose” system.

A total of $75 million CAD has been awarded, which will be divided between the winners. The winners will use the money to begin their proposed Smart City visions.

And the winner is @cityofguelph and @wellingtncounty !!!!!!!! #SmartCitiesChallenge @CamGuthrie @trubesb A lot of hard work and it has payed off. Together we will build a better Guelph, Wellington County, Ontario and Canada. pic.twitter.com/TS8CbiNv9E

“Our vision is a food system where everyone has enough healthy food to eat, nothing is wasted and the environmental footprint is a lot smaller,” Mayor Cam Guthrie said after receiving the prize.

The plan involves three goals: increasing access to affordable and nutritious food by 50 per cent, creating 50 new circular food business and collaboration opportunities, and increasing economic revenues by 50 per cent by reducing or transforming food waste.

“I can’t imagine the legacy we’re going to try and leave. Not just for the city of Guelph, not just for the province of Ontario and not for our country, but for the entire world,” he said.

The joint proposal was submitted in March after nine months of planning involving more than 150 community partners, the County of Wellington said in a statement.

“This win provides both the city and the county the opportunity to strengthen our urban-rural partnership and lean into our strengths in food innovation,” Wellington County Warden Kelly Linton said.

The city and county project coordinators are expected to spend the summer building the leadership and governance structure, and creating a detailed project plan. They will also be establishing a Smart Cities office.

OTTAWA – The Guelph-Wellington County idea of a circular food economy has won a $10 million prize in the federal government Smart Cities Challenge.

The local bid, titled Our Food Future, was named first place in its category Tuesday at an announcement in Ottawa Tuesday afternoon.

The winner was announced at a gala event by Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Francois Phillipe Champagne. Several city officials were on hand to accept the award, which was broadcast live on Youtube! and 

The local entry was selected the winner from 10 entries in its population category of communities up to 500,000.

"Wow, this is awesome!" said mayor Cam Guthrie on the stage. "We're going to turn this vision into a reality. I can't imagine the legacy we're going to leave …. for the entire world when it comes to food."

Wellington County Warden Kelly Linton said the project "inspired our communities to be more creative and collaborative."

The Guelph-Wellington entry is a partnership with the University of Guelph, Conestoga College and dozens of other experts, entrepreneurs, innovators and community champions.

The Canada-wide challenge encouraged communities to improve quality of life through a smart cities approach which involves innovation, data and connected technology.

Guelph’s bid was titled Our Food Future and was aimed at creating a local circular food economy with three goals:

Asset and behaviour mapping, a data analysis project to understand current food assets and gaps in local communities;

Launch a Circular Food Economy Lab to nurture ideas that will reinvent food systems and solve food problems;

Leverage community experts and educators to provide public learning labs, food innovation education and training;

Provide business tools and services to help food and beverage organizations and businesses increase efficiencies and minimize food waste;

Continue a public awareness campaign to educate Guelph-Wellington residents on the food industry, the real cost of food waste and a circular food economy;

Explore adding a “social currency” to current carbon credit sales that could be used to support a green local economy;

Use data collected from Guelph’s technology-enabled residential waste carts to determine how food byproducts can be better used.

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