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Smart Cities Partnership YYC

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Partnership Research

EODR has built a number of partners across the Calgary region, at UofC, in the City of Calgary, and across the social and non-profit sectors. Smart Cities Partnership YYC, led by Victoria Fast, is our way of formalizing those partnerships and strengthening this collaborative element of our research. With Smart Cities Partnership YYC, we hope to build a global network of researchers doing comparative research on smart cities -- open data research included.


Smart Cities Partnership YYC has 4 primary goals at the moment:

  1. Build formal research networks with smart cities staff at the City of Calgary, in their application for Canada's Smart Cities Challenge.
  2. Extend these research networks and partnerships to the global scale.
  3. Make Calgary a smarter city by connecting organizations and institutions doing related and synergistic work.
  4. Through collaborative, global, partnership-based research, deepen our insights into how smart cities work.

This research is funded through a SSHRC sub-grant at the University of Calgary. 

Formal institutional language

To create Smart Cities Partnership YYC, we secured funding using the following text:

This proposed research partnership builds a collaboration between government, industry, community associations, and academic actors involved in smart cities technologies, policies, and projects. Cities around the globe are increasingly integrating sensors, open data, and social media into their administrative approaches, raising important new questions for interdisciplinary academics and non-academics alike. Partnerships can uniquely help create shared vision for more livable and sustainable urban futures, while also providing capacity for innovative research approaches.

Fitting with the university’s Strategic Research Theme “Human Dynamics in a Changing World”, the goal of this broad research partnership is to identify, from a comparative global perspective, the opportunities and challenges around emergent smart cities initiatives. By creating a network for local partnership development in Calgary, we will generate lessons and guidelines to inform academic and non-academic partnership development with colleagues and collaborators in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America. This world regional comparative approach will strengthen and nuance our claims about the potential for smart cities to enhance public engagement, social equity, environmental sustainability, and economic well-being across varied social and political landscapes.

Over the course of the next 12 months, the research team will formalize partnerships with non-academic stakeholders across the Calgary region. This will join the efforts of University of Calgary’s Engaging Open Data Research project and the Urban Alliance, and mobilize our informal networks across the non-profit sector, municipal government, community associations, and for-profit businesses. In this project, the research team will participate in local events organized by these stakeholders and conduct interviews with key members of the smart cities projects in Calgary to identify collaborative possibilities. We will formalize these partnerships in concert with a spring/summer workshop to explore pressing needs and success stories in Calgary, and identify productive ways of scaling our partnership to the global level.