The Smart Cities Challenge, a contest run by Infrastructure Canada, is intended to spark innovation in communities around the country. $75 million will be used to fund four projects in different size municipalities. The Challenge initially received 130 applications, and 20 of those applications were chosen as finalists by the Challenge Jury, each of which received funds to develop their finalist proposal.
The role of urban public space in creating community has been one of the most widely studied subjects in urban planning and architecture. However, the relationship between urban space and community seems to have encountered a turning point. Before, the public urban space was planned to foster a sense community amongst its inhabitants, whereas now there seems to be a growing tendency for it to serve the "offline" encounters of already existing online communities. Before tackling this issue, it is fundamental to understand how to define community in the most traditional sense.