Boston, London, Amsterdam, Toronto, Dubai…and Selkirk. This small city in Manitoba shares the company of an elite and growing collection of global cities to embrace standardized city data to inform better decision-making and to drive public and private investment in cities of all sizes and locations.
Selkirk is also the first and currently the only community in Manitoba to have embraced and adopted this transformative and innovative process.
Praise from the Federal level
Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, said in partnership with the World Council on City Data (WCCD) and through the Data for Canadian Cities Project, the federal government has been helping municipal leaders meet global data standards, and to put this data to use.
“All communities, large and small, need good data to plan and build modern public infrastructure,” McKenna said.
“I am delighted that Selkirk has obtained the ISO standard for municipal data, this will help the city plan projects with quality data and will help guide evidence-based decision-making. Canada’s infrastructure plan invests in thousands of projects, creates jobs across the country and builds stronger communities.”
Data to make our city, country, and world better
As part of a funded agreement with the Federal Ministry of Infrastructure and Communities, the World Council on City Data is working with fifteen municipalities across Canada through the Data for Canadian Cities Project. This Project will help the fifteen cities become certified for three years under ISO 37120, the world’s first international standard for city data.
As the project continues into years two and three, a significant focus will be placed on assisting the participating municipalities in using the data to improve city services and quality of life for citizens.
Yielding the fruit from the trees we planted
Duane Nicol, Selkirk’s Chief Administrative Officer said that achieving the certification is a continuation of the work they have been doing in recent years to build new tools and systems to enhance the city’s decision making, such as their award winning capital asset management program.
“This initiative is almost the equivalent of a “community FitBit.” It provides us with the ability to track progress and compare ourselves to our own past performance, year-by-year or even decade-by-decade,” said Nicol.
“It also allows us to compare, collaborate and learn by sharing performance, solutions and progress with other WCCD ISO certified cities worldwide. This will enhance Selkirk’s ability to make more informed decisions impacting our community’s long-term social, economic and environmental health.”
Using data to make smart decisions
Mayor Larry Johannson says this is yet another example of how Selkirk is using innovation and leading practices to set itself apart.
“We know as citizens that Selkirk is a great place to live, work and play. With this data we can prove it and we can continue our work to make Selkirk even stronger. We’ve been recognized as provincial and national leaders in terms of asset management and on climate change. Now we join an elite group of global leaders who are working to make cities more sustainable and liveable” said Johannson.
ISO as a brand represents a standard of excellence recognized by the private and public sectors worldwide.
“Adopting the ISO standard ensures the information Selkirk provides to prospective investors, government agencies and other parties will contribute to better informed decision making,” said the city’s Director of Sustainable Economic Development Tim Feduniw.
“Accurate, credible and consistent information is critical to attracting and shaping positive community economic growth”
For the future
Dr. Patricia McCarney, President and CEO of the WCCD, welcomed the City of Selkirk to the WCCD global network of data-driven cities.
“I look forward to working with Selkirk in harnessing this data, and putting it to use,” said McCarney.
“With applications from economic development, to targeted infrastructure investment, to internal and external benchmarking, the city’s platinum certification is a testament to the leadership of Mayor Larry Johannson and his entire team in committing to high calibre, local-level data to drive a more prosperous, sustainable, resilient and inclusive future for Selkirk.”
To achieve the WCCD ISO 37120 platinum certification, the city had to report 90 of a potential 104 indicators, broken down into 19 categories that ranged from economy to energy, environment to innovation and urban planning to water and sanitation. In obtaining WCCD’s ISO 37120 Platinum Certification, Selkirk joins 100 cities worldwide, across more than 35 countries.