“I teach two things, suffering and the end of suffering.” Buddha
Over the years I have attempted to understand the “inner mysteries” of place. It has always been a core belief of mine that communities succeed or fail, as do sports teams, on what are called the “intangibles.” The unidentifiable or ineffable – call it “chemistry,” as they do in athletics – components. Hard to measure, impossible to see but felt like a breeze when things go along smoothly and like a sledgehammer on the chest cavity when they do not. To borrow a phrase from the American president’s inauguration speech in 2017, a sense of “carnage” seems palpable.
I prefer the word of the ancient wisdom traditions to describe these intangibles: the “soul” of a place.Read more
A new biofuel facility has opened in the Port Kells industrial area of Surrey, British Columbia. According to the City of Surrey, the C$68 million facility is the first fully integrated closed-loop organic waste management system in North America.
The facility will convert curbside organic waste into renewable biofuel to fuel the city’s fleet of natural gas-powered waste-collection and service vehicles. Under this closed-loop system, waste-collection trucks will be collecting their fuel source at curbside. Excess fuel will go to the new district energy system that heats and cools Surrey’s City Centre.Read more
Imagine an app that updates the locations of apartments for rent in real time, or intelligent street lights that only turn green when cars are waiting.
Or picture a map — Minority Report-style, of course — that aggregates crime data, pinpointing areas where assaults and robberies occur most often.Read more
Thousands of students and teachers in British Columbia will soon have access to training in coding and digital skills through a federally funded CanCode initiative.
Cloverdale-Langley City MP John Aldag and Surrey Centre MP Randeep Sarai visited Surrey Centre Elementary in Cloverdale on Wednesday morning to announce that the federal government promises to invest $50 million over a two year period to support opportunities for students to develop coding and digital skills.Read more
The Jury has again warned me.
Before I leave for our annual Top7 site visits I get the same thoughtful warning from members of ICF’s international awards jury. It goes something like this, “Beware of the ‘Potemkin Village’ stunt that these cities may use on you once inside their borders. They will try to show you their best parts, not their broken ones.” The Jury has recommended in the past that we include a second person on our site visits. The second would serve as the provocateur for ICF. This makes sense because I am often there to perform necessary cheerleading with the media, and to remind other stakeholders in the cities why their city was chosen. So far, however, we have determined that the cost to the host community does not justify this.Read more
Summit, June 13-17, will bring the world to Columbus, Ohio, USA, features international awards for cities and addresses by international civic leaders
The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) will present its annual Summit from June 13-17 in Columbus, Ohio, USA. The Summit is an international gathering of mayors, chief administrative officers, chief information officers and economic development officers from cities, state and regions around the world. It is a place to find economic development opportunities, strategic partners and technology solutions that help community leaders build prosperous, inclusive and sustainable communities.Read more
Surrey is one of just seven global communities to make the final shortlist for the title, Intelligent Community of the Year for 2016. Surrey has been ranked by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) of New York City for 2016 and 2015 and has made it to the finals both years. Louis Zacharilla, co-founder of the Intelligent Community Forum tours Surrey May 4-5 and city officials will be showing him some of the programs and projects that have made the city such a consistent contender for the sought after recognition.Read more
Surrey is a city in transition from a suburban past to a sustainable urban future. On this road, it seeks to leave behind a reputation for sprawl, crime and limited economic potential. Home to some of the richest and poorest neighborhoods in the region, Surrey is building an innovation-based knowledge economy offering a much broader range of local opportunity.
There is no lack of potential in Surrey: it is Canada’s third fastest-growing city, which welcomes 1,000 new residents each month and where residential construction is a major industry. It is part of the growing metropolitan area of Vancouver, from which it derives most of its economic energy today. To gain greater control over its destiny, Surrey has developed a diversification strategy calling for deepening the partnership between its institutions of higher learning and local business. Development is focused on an Innovation Boulevard project, where the city, universities and business are building clusters in health technology, clean tech and advanced manufacturing. Overseeing the project is the Mayor’s Health Technology Working Group, comprised of 50 representatives from universities, a health authority, nonprofits, business associations, government and developers. Ten new health technology firms have already moved in, attracted in part by the availability of five new advanced laboratory spaces. It is one component of a master plan to create several dense and walkable city centers supporting a mix of residential and commercial space linked by light rail.
Smart and Sustainable Plans
Surrey’s past was enabled by the automobile. A new Sustainability Compact, developed with substantial public consultation, aims to change that dynamic by focusing on emissions reduction and thoughtful adaptation to climate change. The city has achieved a 70% waste diversion target ahead of schedule and completed a district energy system for city buildings and future high-rise residential towers. A range of smart-city systems, from a central traffic management center to the MySurrey App, are improving livability and better engaging with citizens. And for those on the wrong side of the digital divide, the library system is training thousands of residents in digital skills as part of a comprehensive poverty reduction plan. Surrey’s goal is to boost local employment by nearly 50%, which will keep more wealth in the community and better balance the tax burden between residents and business.
In the News
Read the latest updates about Surrey.
Smart21 2015 | 2016
Top7 2015 | 2016
The World at GLOBE in Vancouver discusses ways to create Business Opportunities while Saving the Planet
Congratulations to the Intelligent Community of Vancouver! The GLOBE Leadership Summit in Vancouver from March 2-4 was an exceptional experience. Nearly two thousand business and government leaders from over 50 countries came together to network and advance global business and sustainability agendas in Vancouver. 200 thought leaders from around the world focused on issues regarding sustainability, urban resiliency and all things related to the future of the planet.Read more