Message From the Centre on Governance

The Centre on Governance is pleased to be collaborating with Lac Carling Governments’ Review in the production of this special supplement on Smart Communities. The topic is of profound importance.

The concept of a Smart Community is, of course, associated with new information and communication technologies – and the Internet in particular. In an online world, connectedness is often said to provide the new foundation for economic development and social progress.

While these initiatives are central to fostering new experiments in online applications across our economic, political and civic spheres, the Smart Communities movement also encapsulates a broader transformation of governance – one that carries the potential to reshape cities, towns and regions around the world. In the digital age, global challenges require effective local responses. New governance capacities must be forged.

Governance is about coordination and accountability – and in a world of distributed knowledge and power its patterns are in flux. For every organization and community, governance is the critical process of strategizing and adapting in an increasingly dynamic environment. Here lies the nexus of the Smart Community challenge.

The Centre on Governance is a unique forum at The University of Ottawa devoted to such matters. Our aim is to work with all organizations from all sectors, as collaboration is a key – perhaps the key hallmark of the new world of governance.

Locally, The Centre is a partner in Ottawa’s own SmartCapital project – led by The Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation. Globally, we are collaborating with experts such as John Eger, President of The World Foundation for Smart Communities in a concerted effort to forge a global research alliance devoted to the positive integration of governance and technology.

We trust this supplement will help broaden the dialogue on Smart Communities.

Gilles Paquet, Director, The Centre on Governance .