The City of Côte Saint-Luc submitted its final proposal for the Smart Cities Challenge on March 5, 2019. The City proposes to implement the VillAGE Initiative, which is a connected framework, leveraging smart devices and related technologies, that will empower seniors to live more safely and independently in their homes, be better connected to their communities and city services, and be more socially engaged. The VillAGE Initiative will improve overall well-being and quality of life for older adults while reducing stress on families and caregivers, the healthcare system, and long-term care facilities.
“We believe in the transformational power of the VillAGE Initiative, not just for older adults and their families, but for Canadian society at large,” Mayor Mitchell Brownsteinsaid. “Through a strong governance model, strategic partnerships, community involvement, technology and social innovation, solid privacy policies and sound management, we will bring the project to life and change the future of aging in community.”
Participants in the VillAGE Initiative will benefit from personalized assessments of their needs and preferences, and solutions will be proposed from a menu of interventions or services.
These will include the following:
- Home assessment, where a professional assesses the dwelling, flags hazards and identifies ways to improve safety and reduce falls.
- The installation of sensors and safety devices in the home, plus the verification and/or installation of smoke- and CO-detectors.
- The installation of convenience technology in the home, based on voice assistance for example, to help with the instrumental activities of daily living.
- Provision of smart wearables for safety on the go.
- Signing up for the VillAGE App, to connect older adults with vetted community members and city services to help with IADLs.
- Referral to existing city and community services.
- Social prescription.
- Education and training for technology.
In 2017, Infrastructure Canada challenged municipalities and Indigenous communities across Canada to find a way to address local issues their residents face through new partnerships, using a smart cities approach. The City of Côte Saint-Luc, Quebec (pop. 34,066) submitted a preliminary proposal, which was selected as one of 10 finalists in the category of cities of between 30,000 to 500,000. Two of these 10 cities will each receive a prize of $10 million to implement its proposal.
“Côte Saint-Luc will be the epicentre for innovation—a Living Lab where connected technologies will be tested and applied so that seniors can live more safely and independently in their homes and communities,” Councillor Dida Berku said.
The final proposal was developed by the Côte Saint-Luc Smart Cities Challenge team, which includes City staff, council members, residents, and outside partners. Over the past 8 months, during this finalist phase the City conducted extensive community engagement, developed significant ties with research and technology partners, and ran pilot projects in the homes of 5 CSL seniors, which are still underway. These seniors have already experienced positive results from their smart home and mobile devices.