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City of Surrey Shares Experiences at International 'Meeting of the Minds' Conference

Downtown Surrey

September 11, 2013

Surrey, BC – At the invitation of IBM, the City of Surrey has a presence at the annual Meeting of the Minds Conference this week in Toronto, an international event that brings together 350 opinion-shapers, policy-makers, leading thinkers and innovators for discussion on creating more sustainable cities using smarter design tools, sound environmental practices, and cleaner energy systems. Surrey Councillor Bruce Hayne is presenting on Surrey's behalf.

As a 2012 recipient of an IBM Smarter Cities grant, Surrey was asked to be part of a panel to discuss what has been learned, and changes and improvements being made during its ongoing transformation into a 'smarter city'.

"The idea of transforming into a 'smarter city' is key to the overall vision for Surrey," said City of Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts. "We are building Surrey from the ground up into a strong, sustainable city."

"There have been valuable outcomes for Surrey as a result of being part of the Smarter Cities Challenge," said Surrey Councillor Bruce Hayne, Chair of the Investment and Innovation Committee. "We have begun implementing the recommendations which support best sustainable practices for investment in children and families in our city."

Work on implementing the recommendations is underway. To achieve desired outcomes the City of Surrey has formed strategic partnerships including those with UBC, the Ministry of Children and Family Development and the United Way.

IBM defines a 'smarter city' as one that: does more with less, bridges silos in information and operations, uses civic engagement to drive better, and invests in infrastructure for better management.

The City of Surrey is the only BC community to have won the $400,000 IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grant, and one of only five Canadian cities selected since the program's inception in 2010. Refer to www.surrey.ca/smartercities for the report of recommendations and more information.

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For media inquiries/interview requests:

Amanda Silvers
Senior Communications Specialist
Office of the Mayor
City of Surrey
604-591-4519
ajsilvers@surrey.ca

For IBM Smarter Cities program information:

Laurie Cavan
General Manager
Parks, Recreation & Culture
City of Surrey
604-598-5760
lacavan@surrey.ca