Kelowna plans to enter the Smart Cities Challenge, a competition with a top prize of $50 million.—Image: contributed

Kelowna sets its eyes on the prize

A top prize of $50 million is up for grabs in the Smart Cities Challenge

The City of Kelowna thinks it’s a smart move to go after a $50 million prize in the Smart Cities Challenge.

So it is entering the federal government competition where communities are being asked to put forward their best ideas to improve quality of life in their communities through innovation and technology.

The overall winner will get the $50 million top prize, with two prizes of $10 million each going to cities with populations under 500,000. A single $5 million prize is available for communities with fewer than 30,000 residents.

After receiving council’s approval to proceed Monday, city staff plan to hold workshops with community stakeholders to develop an entry, one that could be submitted on its own or with regional partners, said information services manger Ron Entwistle.

The city will look at three areas for its entry:

• Development of an inclusive community—addressing homelessness

• Resiliency in the face of climate change—addressing water

• Healthy neighbourhoods for all—managing growth and development

Competition finalists will be announced in the summer and get $250,000 to help pay for their final proposals.

The overall winners will be announced next spring.

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