South Island Prosperity Project (SIPP) is an organization of 42 members representing Greater Victoria. Photo courtesy SIPP.

South Island Prosperity Project (SIPP) is an organization of 42 members representing Greater Victoria. Photo courtesy SIPP.

Out of 126 cities that applied across the country, Greater Victoria is one of 10 finalists in a competition that will award the winning community with $10 million dollars.

The South Island Prosperity Project (SIPP) has been given $250,000 for a further development proposal in Infrastructure Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge.

The competition is for cities to submit strategies and plans to improve their communities through innovation, data and connected technology.

SIPP is made up of 42 members from around Greater Victoria, from local governments, First Nations, post-secondary institutions, industry and non-profits and major employers, with communication provided throughout the area.

In its preliminary proposal, SIPP¬†said it would create a multimodal transportation network that is “convenient, green and affordable”, with the outcome leading to a well-being score boosted by at least 20 per cent for local residents.

The group says the South Island is at a tipping point with population growth and rising housing costs and says “research shows transportation, social inclusion, and affordability are linked.”

The focus is on bringing transportation costs down and making inclusion a priority while developing a Mobility Wellbeing index by 2024.

The index will be used as a tool to measure the progress of well-being to the lives of south Island residents as a result of transportation improvements.

Winners will be announced in the winter of 2019.

Andy Neal