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Open Smart Communities: Emerging Issues Webinar Series, Summer 2021

As Canadian communities across the country explore smart city initiatives, there is a pressing need to better understand the opportunities and risks presented by data and emerging technologies.

Over the course of summer 2021, we successfully held our webinar series on Open Smart Communities. These webinars explored themes that emerged from research briefs to provide insight on local challenges from an open smart city lens, describe their importance and provide key considerations for communities.

We are very grateful to all who were able to participate! Your support was critical to the success of the series. If you didn't get a chance to attend any of the webinars or would like to watch it, all recordings are available on our Vimeo channel.

Open Smart Communities: The Role of Infrastructure and Sustainability

June 16, 12PM ET

This first webinar focused on the role of infrastructure and sustainability in the open smart city. The panelists explored the theme of green infrastructure, discussed the role and importance of sustainability data in the open smart city and how the ongoing pandemic has shifted our need and use of this data. As well as the concept of the state of good repair, and how it extends to digital infrastructure.


  • Dr. Pamela Robinson, Director and Professor at the School of Urban and Regional Planning at Ryerson University

  • Jackie Lu, Data Lead at the Mozilla Foundation & co-founder of Helpful Places

  • Sophie Nitoslawski, PhD Candidate in Urban Forestry and Sustainable Development Fellow at the University of British Columbia

Watch it here!

Nourishing Smart City Solutions: Data Collaboration and Food Policy

June 30, 12PM ET

Drawing lessons from efforts to address food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic in Montreal, this webinar will explore the issue of data collaboration among local community partners. The pandemic underlined the critical role of local governments and grassroots organizations in rapidly responding to complex economic and social challenges, which requires collaboration across a wide range of actors with varying degrees of knowledge and capacity to meet local community needs.


  • Rachel Begg, PhD Candidate at Concordia University and Community Organizer at the NDG Community Council

  • Anne Marie Aubert, Coordinator at the Conseil du Système Alimentaire Montréalais (Montreal Food System Council)

  • Karine Saboui, Research Analyst, Open North

Watch it here!

Technology Procurement & Shared Mobility in the Smart City

July 14, 12pm ET

New technologies are raising a wide range of uncharted digital rights and digital governance issues, while also challenging long-established processes, sectoral relationships, and power structures in municipalities. Join us in a discussion on how we can shape the governance and use of shared mobility technologies like ride sourcing, on-demand car sharing, bike share or scooter-share, and mini-buses.


  • Andrew Salzberg, Head of Policy at Transit

  • Dr. Matthew Claudel, Founder of Field States

  • Dr. Tracey Lauriault, Associate Professor, Critical Media and Big Data at Carleton University

  • Donato Leone, Teaching Assistant at Carleton University

Watch it here!

Smart Home Technology-Facilitated Violence

July 28, 12pm ET

We will explore the challenges that arise when smart home technologies are used for abuse and violence, which is known as smart home technology-facilitated violence (SH-TFV). As the adoption of IoT devices such as smart cameras, smart speakers and smart doorbells grows, this issue becomes increasingly urgent for the government, the private sector and front line service providers.


  • Olivia Faria, Author of Research Brief, Smart Home Technology-Facilitated Violence

  • Jasmine Rezaee, Director, Advocacy & Communications, YWCA Toronto

  • Suzie Dunn, Legal Researcher at the BC Society of Transition Houses, Senior Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, and Professor at the University of Ottawa

Watch it here!

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