>> smart Canada launches a new initiative to inspire citizens to create a more livable urban environment

May 31, 2012, 17:33 ET from Mercedes-Benz Canada Inc.

TORONTO, May 31, 2012 /CNW/ - smart Canada today unveiled the first major element in a multi-faceted initiative that is designed to make our cities more functional and more beautiful for its inhabitants. From reclaiming neglected urban spaces in an effort to make them more usable, to attempting to address urban problems like noise pollution, the smart City Project will challenge urbanites to rethink many aspects of city-life in unique and useful ways. Its mandate is to also provide a platform to share ideas that will contribute to make our cities more enjoyable to live in.

The Callaghan Alleyway, at the corner of Parliament Street and Dundas Street East in downtown Toronto, is the inaugural location that will introduce this transformative project. This unfriendly stretch of roadway was cleaned and refreshed, and will now become a bright and pleasing short-cut lined with installations from local artists.  It will also feature an interactive bicycle wheel wall that can convert physical input into power that will illuminate the alleyway while also charging mobile devices or smart phones.

The alleyway beautification project presents an exciting and effective way to introduce the smart City Project, an ongoing initiative from smart Canada that will consist of many different smaller projects that will combine to improve urban environments. Other activations include prominent transit shelter displays and wild postings that are meant to engage citizens and urge them to share ideas about how to make city life better for everyone.

The smart City Project will be anchored by an interactive website www.thesmartcityproject.ca . This hub will highlight the numerous different projects, and will be continually updated with videos, photos and comments. In addition, the site also provides a forum for citizens to share their own ideas about how they would make their city a more livable place.

"The smart City Project's mission and overall objective is simple - we want to use it as a catalyst to help improve urban environments," said Tim A. Reuss, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Canada. "The smart fortwo pioneered intelligent urban mobility by questioning the status quo and introducing an extremely fuel efficient, highly versatile and exceptionally safe transportation solution perfectly suited for this country's congested downtown streets. smart has always challenged convention, and we hope that this unique and collaborative project will inspire engagement in a similar manner and help contribute to make our cities a better place for everyone."

smart Canada is now looking for the next initiatives, and invites city dwellers to send in their ideas on how they would beautify their respective cities.  Tweet us @smartCanada and #thesmartcity with your ideas, or for more information visit www.thesmartcityproject.ca

Further information about the smart fortwo can be found online at www.media.mercedes-benz.ca, www.thesmart.ca, facebook.com/smartCanada and twitter.com/smartCanada.

SOURCE Mercedes-Benz Canada Inc.

Image with caption: "Before and after photos illustrate the transformation of a neglected alleyway by the smart City Project. (CNW Group/Mercedes-Benz Canada Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120531_C4793_PHOTO_EN_14453.jpg

Image with caption: "Before and after photos illustrate the transformation of a neglected alleyway by the smart City Project. (CNW Group/Mercedes-Benz Canada Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120531_C4793_PHOTO_EN_14451.jpg