As the world's population continues to shift towards urban centres—66% of the world is expected to live in urban areas by 2050—new challenges are emerging, including balancing the growing strain on resources and infrastructure. This influx of urban growth—nearly one million people move into cities around the globe each week—is underscoring the growing need for cities to embrace the power of internet connectivity and "smart technology" to ensure future sustainability in economic, social, and environmental areas. With a projected 5 billion active internet users by 2020—64% percent of which will be through mobile devices—cities are scrambling to incorporate smart technology to streamline efficiencies and become "Smart Cities." These municipalities are projected to experience improved annual GDP growth rates, lower unemployment rates, and higher office occupancy rates than less advanced cities.

These ideas are the basis behind Infrastructure Canada's recent announcement of a Smart Cities challenge to launch this fall, as well as an upcoming two-day conference set to bring together city-building professionals from various fields. Coming in October, the 2nd annual Intelligent Cities Summit—being presented in partnership with a number of organizations including UrbanToronto—will offer extensive insight into the implementation of smart technology and how it can benefit various public services in future Canadian cities, while also providing networking opportunities across the many industries involved in city building and smart technology.

2nd annual Intelligent Cities Summit, Toronto, IoT EventsDowntown Toronto, image by Jack Landau

To be held at the Toronto Boulevard Club on October 24th and 25th, the summit will include a roster of speakers representing municipalities across the continent, including several Canadian cities, discussing their plans and ambitions for the future, and their experiences in helping their cities become more technologically "intelligent." A full list of the speakers coming to the event can be viewed below, with a larger, more detailed view available by clicking the image.

2nd annual Intelligent Cities Summit, Toronto, IoT EventsSpeakers at the 2nd annual Intelligent Cities Summit, image courtesy of IoT Events

Guests attending the summit will hear from representatives from public transit authorities in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Mississauga, discussing how they are transforming their services with smart technology. The event will also share insight on plans and strategies from C-level municipal executives, and technology leaders who will highlight the latest solutions and trends being used in city management, with presentations on the newest technology applying to these fields.

Those interested in attending the 2nd Annual Intelligent Cities Summit can register on the event's page, with early-bird tickets being offered until September 15th, and standard tickets available beyond. Additional details can be found on the event website, or by emailing or calling 416-597-5751.