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The rapid increase in urban popu- lations in Canada and around the world is prompting cities to adapt by changing the way they operate. Today, more than half of the world's seven billion people live in cities; and, according to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs' Population Division, an addi- tional 2.5 billion people are expected to live in cities by 2050, as a result of both migration and population growth. Cities need to operate "smarter" to accommodate and effectively support the massive increase in residents. Not only must they build capacity to address the growing size of their population; they must also provide inclusive services as their population becomes more diverse, both cultur- ally and demographically. Municipal resources will always be limited, and it may seem that there is little that local governments can do to improve upon their current service programs or pursue new initiatives. The challenge is not to work harder, but to work smarter, using resources that may already exist in the munici- pality. Data is a good example. Munici- palities collect vast amounts of data, much of which is typically used only for a specific application or by a few departments. There is significant potential in harnessing these various datasets to improve decision making, increase efficiency, enhance citizen engagement, and drive innovation KAREN STEWART is the Municipal Solutions Industry Manager for Esri Canada, which provides enterprise geographic information system (GIS) and municipal solutions. She has more than 30 years of experi- ence in the municipal/utility mapping, GIS, and public works fields, having worked previously at the City of Sur- rey and Township of Langley in British Columbia. Karen can be reached at . by Karen Stewart technology Mapping the Way to Smarter Communities through the development of new ap- plications. Geographic information systems (GIS) are another good resource to ex- ploit, as many Canadian municipalities have this technology already in place. GIS is used to integrate, map, and ana- lyze location-based information, which increases the efficiency of municipal processes. By taking the next step and transforming existing GIS investments into a platform that supports all depart- The new Halifax open data catalogue features 31 datasets via an intuitive interface that allows users to search and sort data using advanced filtering capabilities. December 2015 Municipal World 23

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