The city wants residents to pitch their ideas on how to make Winnipeg a better place to live.

Mayor Brian Bowman said today Winnipeg is taking part in the federal government’s Smart Cities Challenge, which is pitting Canadian cities against each other for up to $50 million in funding.

The competition is asking cities to come up with big ideas that improve aspects of life for residents in the fields of innovation, data and connected technology.

The city’s Chief Innovation Officer, Michael Legary says he has already been collaborating with a working group, looking at innovative ideas previously submitted by community organizations and city staff.

“The point of the national challenge is to take the ideas and best practices we develop here and scale it nationally,” Legary said at a news conference this afternoon. “Develop it here in Winnipeg and then get it out to the country at large.”

Bowman touted SkipTheDishes as a key innovation to come out of Winnipeg in recent years.

He says he’s looking forward to hearing ideas from the community, adding even if Winnipeg doesn’t win the competition, he’s sure there will be some ideas the city can move forward with in the future.

“I think every community that goes through this exercise will benefit from the ideas that are generated,” Bowman said. “Whether they are successful in accessing the federal funds, I think municipalities will benefit from the exercise.”

The city is seeking ideas from the public until Feb. 22, 2018 and will submit their proposal to the Smart Cities Challenge sometime in April, 2018.

According to a release, the city is asking people to focus their ideas on a number of main areas, including:

  • A big idea: Ideas that are big in scope and thinking
  • Safety and security: Ideas that make Winnipeg safer and more secure for our people and our communities
  • Vibrant communities: Ideas that make a community more vibrant, engaged and connected
  • Public and active transportation: Ideas that make public and active transportation more available and effective
  • Environment: Ideas that will improve the environment in and around Winnipeg for future generations
  • Accessibility and quality of life: Ideas that make information or services available to more people or improve quality of life
  • Information driven: Ideas that use information to improve quality of life or reduce costs
  • Transparency and engagement: Ideas on how the city can be more transparent and engage citizens more frequently in decisions that impact them

People can submit ideas and find more information at