Positioning Kitchener as a smart and connected city is a high priority for many of us, particularly as we work to promote the Toronto-Waterloo Region innovation corridor to the rest of the world. But there is still work to do.
Kitchener has a long history of innovation - for generations, this city has evolved to find new ways to connect citizens with each other and with the programs and services they value.
In the 21st century, it is undeniable that technology can play an invaluable role in improving citizens' quality of life, and their interactions and experiences with local government. From engagement to e-services, tomorrow's city hall has the potential to be as much a virtual space for citizens as it is a physical one.
Having an updated digital strategy is one of the ways staff can ensure the city is able to deliver on the promises made in the strategic plan.
What is #DigitalKitchener?
Digital Kitchener is a new initiative to create our first community digital strategy. The purpose of the strategy is to seek out opportunities that will use information, technology and digital resources to improve the way we live our lives.
So, what does that mean?
The possibilities really are limitless. For some, this might mean having more real-time information pushed to their smartphone about things that matter most to them. For others, it might mean having access to free public Wi-Fi anywhere in Kitchener, or using concepts like crowdsourcing to increase civic participation.
Creating a digital strategy for Kitchener has been inspired by the growing global movement to create more tech savvy cities (smart cities). Smart city initiatives tend to focus on six areas: open government; engagement; access and infrastructure; economy; government e-services; and education. The City of Kitchener, the Region of Waterloo and local non-profits are already very active in several of these areas.
Strategy development to conclude summer 2016
Thanks to the nearly 1,000 ideas and comments from stakeholders! Staff are now in the stages of finalizing Digital Kitchener. Work will continue into the summer of 2016 as staff prepare a final report, including strategic actions that will bring the strategy to life. We encourage all residents and stakeholders to stay tuned for future announcements!