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Mayor Bevilacqua: Vaughan receives Willis Award of Innovation
July 4, 2022

Vaughan Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua issued the following statement after the June 28 Council meeting:

"I am pleased to announce the City of Vaughan has received the Willis Award of Innovation from the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA) for our winter maintenance artificial intelligence (AI) system. CAMA is a national not-for-profit association that aims to enrich the municipal public service and quality of life for all citizens.

"The Willis Award of Innovation recognizes programs, projects or services that demonstrate new approaches to leading, facilitating or administering, resulting in positive changes that benefit communities.

"At the City of Vaughan, we take pride in delivering Service Excellence and leveraging data-driven decision-making. This national award further demonstrates City staff's commitment to utilizing new best practices and putting citizens first in everything we do. Every day in every way, Vaughan's dedicated Public Works professionals strive to enhance operational performance and foster a culture of continuous improvement.

"The City has taken a progressive approach to winter maintenance operations, becoming the first municipality in Canada to adopt the Maintenance Decision Support System (MDSS), a smart-technology AI system that improves resource allocation and reduces salt usage.

"This multi-award-winning technology leverages weather forecasts, real-time road condition data and Vaughan's operating best practices to recommend the appropriate treatment for the City's roads and sidewalks. As a result, MDSS has positively impacted environmental and fiscal sustainability and enhanced the citizen experience.

"Adopting this innovative AI technology has allowed the City to reduce salt usage by 30 per cent and save approximately $400,000 to date. Although salt application is essential to keeping roads and motorists safe throughout the winter, it can adversely impact the environment. Our reduction in salt usage better respects the environment and saves money without affecting overall road safety during the winter, which is a key priority.

"I want to extend my gratitude and appreciation to the Transportation and Fleet Management Services department and the Public Works team for their efforts to drive innovation to deliver results. Congratulations on another outstanding achievement."