POWELL RIVER, B.C.- Through a new federal government challenge, the city of Powell River is looking to become a “smart city”.

The Smart Cities Challenge is a way of using technology to improve the city’s resources.

“We’re asking the public to come up with ideas on how we can make Powell River a better place for social issues using the Smart City technology, so using data to help make a better community,” said Karen Skadsheim, a councillor with the city of Powell River.

“We will make the community a better place, and ideas have to be measurable and achievable through data and connected technology, so it could be ‘I want to feel safe and secure, what does that look like?’, well maybe it means having better lighting that is tracked through the fiber-optic cabling. It has to be something that helps people move around the community.”

Skadsheim used Cincinnati, Ohio as an example.

“Their idea was about moving people around and starting an electric vehicle network.”

She said the city can apply for prizes ranging from $5 million to $10 million to $50 million.

“We can go for any of those levels, depending on the idea,” she said.

The Smart Cities Challenge has an application deadline for April 24th, and the deadline for citizen submissions to the city is March 23rd.

A public meeting is also being planned to further inform residents about the challenge.

More details about the Smart Cities Challenge can be found through this link. The Powell River residential idea form can be found here.