Press Release

First OVH Smart-city Barometer - Quebecers want smarter cities to develop thriving local economies

1. Quebecers want smarter cities.
2. Public transit is currently considered the smartest sector.
3. Quebecers want smarter cities to develop thriving local economies.
4. The use of digital applications and tools to manage transportation, safety, water and infrastructures should be a priority for cities, according to our fellow citizens. Quebecers want smarter cities!
Quebecers want smarter cities!
The OVH Smart-city Barometer reveals that only 32% of Quebecers answered "yes" to the question "do you think your city is smart?". Citizens of the City of Montreal answered "yes" in fewer numbers (28%) than the residents of Sherbrooke (36%) and Quebec City (35%). "The smart city notion is relatively new," said Cédric Combey, vice-president, sales and marketing at OVH Canada, a world leader in Cloud Computing and Internet infrastructures. "This ranking provides us with a reference from which to track the performance of cities over the coming years, and this ability to track will be even more relevant given the impact the advent of the smart city will have on our lifestyle and the evolution of the urban way of life. Starting from the smart city concept, we can then use information and communication technology to meet the economic, social and environmental needs of our century" .

The OVH Smart-city Barometer also reveals that a clear majority of urban Quebecers (89%) consider it important for cities to develop strategies to become smart. This concept garners the most support in the City of Montreal; 91% of Montrealers consider "smart" strategies to be important (44% of them consider they are "very important," while 47% consider them "somewhat important"). In Saguenay, only 16% of citizens considered that it was "very important" for their city to be smarter, though 69% thought the concept was still "somewhat important. Ranking of smart cities according to each city's citizens
More residents of the Greater Montreal area, outside the City of Montreal (rest of Montreal CMA), feel that their city is smart (37%), closely followed by Sherbrooke and Quebec City with 36% and 35% respectively. The City of Montreal only comes in fourth, with 28%. Public transportation is considered the smartest sector
According to Quebecers who were polled, the public transportation sector is the sector that most often uses smart technology (40%), closely followed by urban development, such as infrastructures, parks and bike trails (38%), and public safety services (36%).

However, some cities set themselves apart, like Trois-Rivières, where 59% of citizens indicate that they are very satisfied with local smart urban development, which is 21% more than other cities in which citizens were polled. Conversely, citizens of Quebec City appear to be less satisfied with their public safety services from a smart technology point of view, with a satisfaction rate of only 24%, 12% lower than the Quebec average. Smarter cities to develop thriving local economies
According to 41% of urban Quebecers, cities should look into being smarter to develop a thriving economy that focuses on collaborative innovation, leading-edge technology and the boldness and creativity of its citizens. This answer far outscores the second-ranked priority, improving the efficiency of public services (26%). The three priorities that cities should have according to Quebecers
The three priorities that cities should have according to Quebecers
Moreover, OVH's Barometer shows that, if cities want to meet the expectations of their citizens, they must consider three sectors high priority. In addition to tagging some sectors as priorities, citizens also provided their opinion on the applications and concrete systems they would most like to see cities implement. "Today, more and more people expect information relating to their needs and expectations to be available instantaneously, such as when they are planning a trip, for example. To this end, the OVH Smart-city Barometer provides cities with a plethora of suggestions," said Cédric Combey.

Note that Montreal stands out on this point, with the need for a smart public transit system as a top priority, with 50%.

Quebecers are ready for smart cities!
OVH wanted to use this first experience to validate Quebecers' smart technology use habits. According to the OVH Smart-city Barometer, 95% of Quebecers use email, social media (79%), cloud file storage (45%) and online purchase sites (36%) a few times or more a week. Forty-four percent of them feel they are better equipped with digital tools at home than at work.

"The use of smart technology is a well-established habit for Quebecers," said Cédric Combey. "If cities improve their 'smart' offer, Quebecers will be on board!" OVH in Canada
OVH in Canada
OVH has been present in Canada since 2012 and has rolled out four business units in Montreal, Beauharnois, Quebec City and Toronto that employ 140 people. The entry into service of its 360,000-server-capacity data centre on Montreal's South-Shore has made it possible to expand accessibility and better serve close to one million clients around the world and has made Montreal one of the largest data-hosting centres in the world.