Building smart, healthy cities

Doug MacMillan
Doug MacMillan • 2 February 2022
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To make cities healthier, more livable and more resilient, the University of Guelph is investing in an innovative training program. 

The Implementing Smart Cities Interventions to Build Healthy Cities (SMART) Training Platform will equip students with multidisciplinary and implementation skills needed to run and manage the ever-more complicated cities of tomorrow — cities that incorporate everything from healthy food and green space to public transportation, housing and social services.

The federally funded $4.95-million project builds on Smart Cities proposals developed by Guelph-Wellington, Montreal and the Opaskwayak Cree Nation in Manitoba, bringing together 48 researchers at 10 institutions across Canada. 

At the University of Guelph, 10 researchers will contribute their expertise in nutrition, health and agri-food systems. “Food security and resilient food systems are critical to building healthy cities,” says Dr. David Ma, the principal investigator for the project at the University of Guelph.

The SMART Training Platform aims to cultivate a new generation of multidisciplinary researchers in health, social sciences and humanities, engineering and environmental sciences equipped with implementation skills. Through the program, trainees will examine and test bold solutions in real urban settings, moving knowledge into action in support of building healthy and smart cities.