City of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

Final Proposal title

Executive Summary

"One of the big focus areas for us, for residents, as well as tourists, is being able to dim the street lights so that we are able to see this natural beauty, the northern lights above us."

– Rebecca Alty, Mayor of Yellowknife

"We want to make Yellowknife into a cold weather testing centre for all kinds of new and innovative things and invite people to come here and look at what kind of technologies they can try."

– Craig Scott, Ecology North

Challenge Statement

Yellowknife will experience a rise in our community's social and environmental well-being by transforming the simple lamppost into a beacon for sustainability.


Our proposed concept is to make the lamppost a beacon for sustainability. The sustainability referenced in this challenge statement ranges from ecological to financial to social sustainability, which we will realize by incorporating a variety of technological innovations into the lampposts around our city to improve quality of life for our residents and visitors in several ways.

The first step will be creating a mesh network among our lampposts that allow them to communicate with each other and with a central location. From there, much like apps on a smart phone, a variety of innovative ideas could be incorporated into the lamppost to help us achieve our desired outcomes and to improve the sustainability of Yellowknife. These innovations will include smart lighting that can be motion activated or dimmed and brightened as needed, electric vehicle charging stations, data monitoring and collection, interactive tourism information, and Wi-Fi hotspots. This mesh network and technological innovations will help Yellowknife to become an innovative and adaptable Smart City with the ability to adapt with the times as technology advances.

Spotlight on Finalists cover page

Spotlight on Finalists:
City of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

Population: 19,569

Focus Areas:

Economic OpportunityHealthy Living and Recreation

Prize Category:


The Jury's Perspective

Read the transcript

My name is Maxime Johnson. I'm a tech journalist from Montreal.

I became a jury member of the smart city challenge because I think municipalities can use technology to improve the life of their citizens, but only if it's done the right way and I wanted to help find those good ideas.

What I like about Yellowknife is the focus they have on smart lamppost. So smart lamppost is something that was offered by others but it was just one line of the proposal. Yellowknife took that line and really improved on it and really expanded on it. So, by doing their own design they will better suit their needs and the whole process will benefit the community. I think it was a strong proposal.

The Finalist's Perspective

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The Smart Cities Challenge is a competition that calls on Canadian communities to explore how data and connected technology can achieve meaningful outcomes for residents.

The Finalists - $5M Category: City of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

Question: Tell us about your team and your community.

Chris Vaughn (Sustainability Projects Coordinator): Yellowknife is a commercial hub in the Northwest Territories. We're a population of about 20 thousand. We have a mining legacy and we have a strong tourism industry. It's a small-knit community, beautiful landscapes and we're trying to promote our tourism and also promote our community engagement through this project of smart city lampposts.

Question: Why did you enter the Challenge?

Chris Vaughn (Sustainability Projects Coordinator): We entered the challenge because we believe that innovation is going to be key to providing service delivery for the city. It's also a opportunity to solidify partners that we've been working with for the long run but to have a concrete product to work on that has many benefits for all. We just thought it was a great moment to jump on this.

Challenge Statement: Yellowknife will experience a rise in our community's social and environmental well being by transforming the simple lamppost into a beacon for sustainability.

Join the conversation: #smartcitiesCanada

Infrastructure Canada

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