Ottawa, April 5, 2022—Canadian smart cities initiatives can benefit from core lessons learned by European smart cities, which include the need to involve citizens in decision-making, seeking local buy-in, incorporating local priorities in project design, and understanding when and if “cutting edge” technologies are needed.

As municipalities around the world seek to better serve their communities and prepare for a more connected and data-centric future, this report, Lessons from Abroad: Smart City Developments from the European Region, gleans recent developments and lessons from smart city projects in 20 European cities.

Building on ICTC’s previous smart cities research, this report also discusses how smart cities development has adjusted to the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19. The report integrates key insights from subject-matter experts from across Europe and a range of emerging international research along ICTC’s smart city priority areas: smart energy and environment, smart infrastructure, smart mobility, smart government, smart health and wellbeing, and smart regulation.

Other focus areas include the following:

  • Digital skills training programs
  • Digitalized and data-driven urban planning
  • Investments to ensure accessible broadband infrastructure and devices
  • Clean energy and environmentally friendly building retrofits

“Tomorrow’s smart cities put data and digital technology to work to make improved business decisions, deliver better services to citizens, and enhance the overall quality of life. This report addresses key lessons from Europe that explore new approaches to heighten social connectedness and civic participation, environmental protection, public safety, health, and employment prospects.” —Namir Anani, ICTC President and CEO.

The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) is a not-for-profit, national centre of expertise for strengthening Canada’s digital advantage in a global economy. Through trusted research, practical policy advice, and creative capacity-building programs, ICTC fosters globally competitive Canadian industries enabled by innovative and diverse digital talent. In partnership with an expansive network of industry leaders, academic partners, and policy makers from across Canada, ICTC has empowered a robust and inclusive digital economy for 30 years.

For Interviews with an ICTC subject expert and other media inquiries, please contact Paul Stastny at [email protected] or 403.351.0138 Ext. 823.

This project was funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Sectoral Initiatives Program.

A copy of the study can be accessed here.

A French language press release for this report is here.

Researched and written by Trevor Quan (Senior Research & Policy Analyst) and Zhenzhen Ye (Senior Economist & Research Analyst), with generous support from Alexandra Cutean (Chief Research Officer), Faun Rice (Manager, Research & Knowledge Mobilization) and the Digital Think Tank team.