Commentary

PSD attended the 2015 FCM Sustainable Communities Conference to uncover the most innovative, successful and impactful sustainability solutions being employed in Canadian cities. Some initiatives are quite small, but have had an enormous impact in their respective communities, while others are comprehensive and ambitious, with the full weight of their impact not likely to be known for years to come. Speakers and delegates also shared failed attempts at implementing sustainability initiatives, providing others with recommendations to help avoid similar fates. Ultimately, sustainability is a process not a project, and without an ongoing commitment to the process, progress will be undone. These Canadian case studies bolster the efforts of those committed to the process of sustainability at the municipal level. Read more...

In 2016 Rio de Janeiro will host the Summer Olympics, the first time a South American city will host the games. In 2014, Brazil hosted the World Cup, with the central venue for the tournament located in Rio. Now, Rio has been named one of the world's Top 7 Intelligent Communities of 2015, as determined by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF). As connectivity becomes increasingly paramount to a community's economic prosperity and democratic inclusivity, Rio is leading the way on digital innovation. As a host of major international sporting events, Rio has leveraged public and private funding to build legacy facilities and programs that will continue to benefit both its rich and disenfranchised residents for years to come. Read more...

Canadian economic updates and forecasts tend to pit East versus West, with the latest iteration seeing Alberta suffering at the hands of plummeting oil prices while a low Canadian dollar ignites hope of a rebounding manufacturing industry in Ontario. Wedged between East and West is the province of Manitoba. With one of the highest immigration rates in Canada relative to population, a real GDP growth rate of 2.4% (above Canada's 2.0% growth), and major infrastructure projects underway across the province, Manitoba is no Canadian afterthought. At the heart of this central province are its vibrant towns and cities, with Winnipeg anchoring the region's economy. Like all cities across Canada, Manitoba's communities are challenged with balancing growth and renewal with limited fiscal capacity. PSD spoke with Manitoba's new Minister of Municipal Government, Drew Caldwell, to find out what the provincial government is doing to contribute to the development of strong communities and how infrastructure renewal and asset management fit into their long-term plan. Read more...

Featured Research Articles

From 1995 to 2004, the internet hosted static, one-way websites; these were places to visit passively, retrieve information from, and perhaps post comments about by electronic mail. This Web 1.0 was about getting people connected, even if its applications were largely proprietary and only displayed information their owners wished to publish. Today, Web 2.0 enables many-to-many connections in countless domains of interest and practice. People are connected and expect the internet to be user-centric. They generate content, business intelligence, reviews and opinions, products, networks of contacts, statements on the value of web pages, connectivity, and expressions of taste and emotion that search engines, not portals, fetch. Read more...

On an annual basis, the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) releases its list of the world's most "Intelligent Communities". In order to be selected for this list, communities must excel in specific critical areas including: broadband connectivity, knowledge workforce, innovation, digital inclusion, marketing, and advocacy. Once communities submit their applications to the ICF, they are analyzed and judged by a panel of academics. The ICF incrementally announces the winners, beginning first with a top 21 list, then a top 7 list, and finally a single winner. On January 22nd, the top 7 list for 2015 was announced. Read more...

All successful organizations must evolve to meet a changing environment. Canada's Public Service is no different. It is adapting to meet Canada's needs, while respecting our code of values and ethics to maintain public confidence in the integrity of the federal Public Service. Over the past several years, our focus has been on renewing and transforming the federal public service, delivering on a dynamic policy agenda, and re-engineering many of our internal and external services. We have made significant progress in positioning our institution for the future. Read more...