The Canadian city of Montreal, best known for its old-world French atmosphere, great food and vibrant nightlife is beginning 70 projects that will turn Montreal into North America’s first “smart city.”

A total of $23 million will be spent, broken down into 6 sections. The project will be completed by the end of 2017.

The plan takes a multi-faceted appraoch, from ensuring a fast fiber network, “unleashing municipal data,” and the rollout of “intelligent transport systems” that will bring real-time info on subway/bus/car services and deploying free WiFi.

According to the press release, Montreal will be deploying wireless access points in 750 locations to facilitate the free public WiFi to “enhance the experience of citizens, boost tourism and accelerate economic development of Montreal.”

Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montreal, said, “Montreal, smart city, it is now practical projects that will significantly improve the quality of life of all Montrealers. The Action Plan, Montreal, intelligent and digital means to deploy public Wi-Fi and high-speed network; accelerate the development of smart city economic niche; to optimize travel time, improve access in democratic life and to offer digital public services.”

Montreal is looking to compete against larger world cities such as New York and London, for both business and tourism dollars. The move will put pressure on U.S. east coast cities to adopt similar policies and initiatives or risk falling by the wayside. Midwest cities may also increase the pressure, looking to smart city initiatives to remain competitive and get ahead of larger east coast rivals.

According to the plan, the six sections will be composed of the following:

1. Wi-Fi public: Deploy APs to extend coverage in the area, creating a harmonized experience and provide uniform performance across the network to enhance the experience of citizens, boost tourism and accelerate the economic development of Montreal.

2. Very high speed network, multiservice: Adopt a telecommunications policy, create one-stop telecommunications and urban integrate the telecommunications component in the charter of all major urban projects, so that all players in the Montreal community have access a fiber network at high speed and multi-service, that meets their current and future needs.

3. Economic Niche smart city: Create an environment facilitating the emergence of companies in the smart city economic niche, multiply the sources of innovation for solving urban problems and simplify doing business with the City, so that Montreal becoming a leader in innovation as smart city and accelerate economic development.

4. Intelligent Mobility: Make available all data on mobility in real time, implement intelligent transport systems, intermodal and integrated deployment and support solutions designed to inform users to optimize mobility users in real time on the entire territory.

5. Participatory democracy: Unleashing municipal data, information management and governance and adapt the means of citizen participation to make them accessible online, to improve access to the democratic process and consolidate the culture of transparency and accountability.

6. Digital Public Services: Making a maximum of services available on a multitude of digital channels, involve citizens in the development of services and create opportunities for all, to become familiar with their use, to provide access to municipal services 24/7, across multiple platforms.

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