From the desk of Mayor Frank Campion, City of Welland
How people live and work is changing as we move toward a digital society—and Welland is not only preparing to embrace change—but to also encourage change, as we grow towards a smarter, more efficient City. Cities are becoming smarter by adapting to a digitally advanced society, within a knowledge economy, to attract innovative business and enhance the dynamics
of communication. Most importantly, those cities that work smarter retain youth and create an
inclusive sustainable community.
It’s not enough to provide communities with hard and soft services any longer. Cities need to
welcome and advocate for sophisticated digital infrastructure in order to keep up with, and
connect to other cities. Although a well-planned public transit system does move people to the
places where they work or learn, cities with advanced broadband networks are able to connect
people through telecommunications and online learning.
The federal and provincial government is investing a combined $180 million into Western
Ontario’s need for a high-speed fibre optic regional broadband network. How will this enhance
the quality of life of Niagara? Imagine living in one of our rural communities with limited
mobility and not being able to accept a job or gain a post-secondary education because of that
limitation. Access to an advance broadband network would change that limitation and improve
the quality of life for many individuals.
Strengthening Niagara’s broadband network to all urban, suburban, and rural communities will
attract global investors, and give rural communities the tools needed to support today’s
innovative farm practices. When cities raise the digital bar to smart city standards through a
holistic approach that includes public and private sectors, as-well-as educational institutions,
infrastructure, and digital inclusion of citizens; those cities also set a better standard of living
for citizens, and empower communities with knowledge.
The City of Welland is committed to creating cultural innovation by using technology and
emerging trends to be more responsive as an organization in the way we deliver programs and
services. Moving in this direction will not only make us a smarter city; it will get us thinking like
an intelligent community.