Smart communities and what they are

The focus of this special edition is on building smart communities: what they are and how they can benefit Canadian citizens?

Smart communities are a new and evolving concept. As you will read in this edition, smart communities offer the potential to enhance social, cultural and economic development for citizens. What you will also learn is that making a community smart goes beyond just the communication and information infrastructure that enables residents to make use of these technologies. To be “smart”, the use of technology must be interactive and the members of smart communities must be able to use the technologies to transform information into knowledge.

In fact, the key elements of a smart community (which the articles in the issue cover) include: Technology – the tool that enables a smart community to function; Digital Content – the building material; Relationships – the glue that holds the smart community together; and, Collective Intelligence – the processes that give smart communities a purpose.

Beyond the technology, the success of a smart community is largely dependent on thinking about “community” in a different way. Local communities must see themselves as largely self-governing and they must see themselves as “part of an interlinked global community.”

So how do you define “community”?

Lac Carling Governments’ Review owes a very special thanks to The Centre on

Governance who helped collaborate with us on the production of this special issue.