An Infrastructure Canada Smart Cities grant was awarded to Bridgewater Nova Scotia due to the town’s smart cities project. It’s a competition aimed to give assistance to towns that had an incredible strategy on how to use the information and integrated technologies to improve the welfare and stability throughout the communities.
Though all the participating towns instructed to focus on Smart City agenda, the winners had a wide range of precedencies and plans including secured food source, better youth education, and transportation system. There were key questions that participants needed to address, and Bridgewater’s delegates were successfully able to do that.
Lessening the energy poverty was the $5 million winning proposals of Bridgewater. Energy poverty means difficulty to obtain modern energy services, and just to fill that gap, more than 10% of the Bridgewater family’s income is allotted to energy costs instead of other much important necessities.
We were able to speak with Bridgewater’s Mayor David Mitchel and sustainability planner Leon de Vreede about the process of identifying this issue, making a data-driven resolution by means of integrated technology and benefits as well as the obstacles of developing a town with a population of less than 10,000 into a smart city. In our interview, we asked them a few questions which are as follows:
Why did you decide to participate in the Smart Cities Challenge?
David: We felt our project was worthy of the exposure that Smart Cities would give it, and it gave us access to resources we wouldn’t have otherwise had.
Does the adversity of infrastructure scalability also apply to the hardware components of your proposal such as solar panels and smart micro-grids?
Leon: The main challenges preventing energy solutions from being deployed have nothing to do with the technology. The barriers are capital and regulations, zoning, or getting local utilities on board. None of these problems are faced by Smart Cities, and as a small community, we can move quite nimbly.