Our Findings


We are proud to boast that many Edmontonians have answered the Smart Cities Challenge team’s call for input.

This online engagement site, smartcities.edmonton.ca had more than 17,000 visits and 120 distinct ideas submitted from January to March 2018.

Edmonton’s Smart Cities Challenge Summit, held on February 20, 2018, had more than 50 health community leaders from public sector and private sector organizations participate in a workshop to provide their expertise.

HealthHack, a hackathon launched on March 3, 2018 at the Edmonton Public Library’s Open Data Day, was attended by 80 residents and generated 38 innovative software development project proposals.

16 workshops held over the first weeks of March 2018, had more than 150 residents, subject matter experts and vendors use virtual reality experiences to give feedback.

The March 20-29, 2018 Insight Community Survey had more than 2,100 residents provide their ideas and viewpoints on the Healthy City theme. 

In-person workshops, interviews and surveys targeted the newcomer, Indigenous, low income, homeless, vulnerable youth, older adult and LGBTQ2S+ communities had more than 1,000 individuals giving 260 distinct viewpoints.


Outlined below is what we heard from our Phase One Engagement.

The City of Edmonton’s Analytics Centre of Excellence performed a sentiment analysis on all of the data gathered from Edmontonians. Using machine-learning algorithms, the core issues troubling residents and stakeholders were identified, showing us that Edmontonians are primarily concerned about their health and well-being and they expect the City of Edmonton to focus its efforts and resources on initiatives that will improve their quality of life.

Overall, the qualitative results led to an overarching theme that there is a relationship between connectedness, loneliness, a sense of belonging and health. Edmontonians want to to be strong advocates for themselves and one another but lack the means and mechanisms to do so.

In particular, engagement identified the following barriers as the primary contributors to these challenges:

  • Urban sprawl and physical isolation have contributed to social isolation, poor access to healthy food choices and increased incidence of chronic disease.
  • A challenging winter climate complicates achieving a year-round active lifestyle and assessing services, especially for newcomers from warmer climates.
  • Newcomers to Edmonton lack family, language and cultural supports.
  • Individuals may not be aware of changes in the health and social conditions which impact their lives. Due to the community disconnection, individuals at risk may not be identified.
  • Health and social services typically operate in a disparate fashion, making it challenging for residents to access the right care, at the right time, at the right place, by the right provider with the right information. Services also are not delivered in a way that acknowledges the unique needs of language and culture.


Outlined below is Edmonton's Smart Cities Challenge Phase One journey.

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