Smart Cities

Introducing Citysage

An aerial view of a city with text and logos Citysage by Reliance Foundry

Know Your City Like Your Residents Do

An aerial view of a city with text and logos Citysage by Reliance Foundry
Exciting new product innovations, and a new division, at Reliance Foundry!

At Citysage, we are helping to shaping a sustainable future through the introduction of an innovative range of smart-city solutions designed to tackle a multitude of challenges faced by municipalities. Our suite of intelligent sensors watch, analyze, and report from remote locations so that organizations can manage sites effectively. In the City of Burnaby, one of our early partners, we are currently watching levels of waste, water, and noise. Some of these reports, like those on tide water levels, can be combined and validated against external data sources to create forecast models. When alert conditions are reached, our smart systems can give organizations a timely heads up by sending email and/or phone alerts.

Citysage is more than a sensor company. We’re also working on developing advanced solutions to analyze the flow of people or vehicle traffic. Our analytical capabilities are adaptable to specific locations and can be tailored to precisely match the unique needs of each client. With intuitive alert mechanisms finely tuned to the specific context of each site, we ensure that the insights generated are not only comprehensive but also actionable.

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Protecting privacy

Sensors in the public sphere can raise privacy concerns. Citysage is committed to ZeroPII (Zero Personally Identifiable Information) protocols on our intelligent sensor technology.

Other companies work in surveillance. Fewer are constructing intelligent models to create resource efficiencies within cities.

For our sensor applications that might show people, such as loitering detection, we use LiDAR technology, which can identify human forms but in completely non-identifiable ways.

Our data scientists put on commanding performances to win “Best Unidentifiable Actors in a LiDAR Short.”

Burnaby Pilot Projects

Waste and Recycling

Sending a truck out to collect from empty trash and recycling cans can be a waste of time. It also wastes money, in the form of labor, vehicle wear and tear, and fuel. With cities reaching towards zero emissions targets, it also creates unnecessary carbon dioxide.

Waste level monitoring offers alerts on a management dashboard showing when bins are nearing capacity. Clients can set conditions to trigger texts and emails as well. For example, alerts could go at 80% capacity, bin overflow, or time since last emptying.  

The online dashboard will allow organizations to view their data in different ways depending on what the client is looking for during set up. Route planning can be made simpler through a mapping function. Custom functions can be constructed: for example, time since last emptying could also be used as a sorting function for route planning. It may still be important to visit bins that rarely, if ever, get full.

Stalks of red flowers grow in a garden, a sun-shower of mixed rain and sun is the background
We offer data correlated with local weather events so that cities and developers can judge the success of bioswales.

Rain Garden Monitoring

Rain gardens and bioswales are increasingly put into city and site water management plans. Places like Milwaukee are building groundwater recapture into their development requirements.

Sewer systems are easier to judge as working or dysfunctional than organic systems. Our rain garden monitoring systems allows us to make functionality more obvious in bioswales. The City of Burnaby’s pilot project watches how often there is standing water in rain garden sumps. It also notes when water reaches the level of overflow to sewer system. This allows for consistent data on when the rain garden is working as intended, and when its capacity has been overwhelmed.

LiDAR generated point cloud image of a human in red dots, and cars in yellow, green, and blue dots.
LiDAR allows for sensing without surveillance: we can see humans with Zero Personally Identifying Information.

Loitering Detection

In Burnaby, a public parking lot was often becoming a place where younger people came to play music, drink, and talk. The parking lot partygoers found the location convenient to bars and buses, but the lot is surrounded by residences. On summer weekends, the neighborhood would often be kept awake by the sounds of talking and music.

We created a LiDAR sensor that watches the parking lot, without collecting any personally-identifiable information. It detects people loitering and notifies the city, so they can corroborate neighborhood reports and dispatch community officers if needed.

Sewer Overflow

Sewer overflow above the grate causes roadway flooding; below the grate it can eat away at the dirt and cause sinkholes and other issues. City staff often won’t know about an overflow event, however, until a citizen contacts the municipality to let them know.

Our sewer overflow sensing can watch and alert for quick rates of change, particular levels, or full overflow. In the future, additional options will allow us to offer measurements of sediment levels, rates of flow, debris, temperature, pressure, intrusions, and other important information that normally might require a team to respond.

Tide Level Monitoring

During high tides and big storms, storm ditches that drain into the ocean can fill with sediment or water and overflow, causing damage to the surrounding landscape. Monitoring tide levels in these channels can alert crews to problems before they arise. Over time, our intelligent systems will create data models used to predict when there may be problems in an area, using historical data and weather forecasts. Crews can be dispatched to areas of concern as a weather system is developing.

A tall Brutalist clock tower and several newer buildings behind sculpted plantings at UBC campus.
Several of Reliance Foundry’s data scientists have come through the UBC Data Science program.

UBC Capstone

As one of its first acts as a named division, Citysage presented at a UBC Capstone program to Masters of Data Science students finishing their degrees. Our team showed where we are, where we’re going, and what interesting science problems there are to work on. We received a very positive response and are looking forward to welcoming four students into our team this spring!

As two of our data scientists are graduates through UBC’s Masters program, and several our staff are alumni to the school, it is nice to reach out to the next generation of graduates.

Future developments

Citysage will continue Reliance Foundry’s mission of “making places people want to be” by helping sites, organizations, and municipalities manage their resources and time with remote sensing and intelligent data modeling.

Citysage will tie into ESRI ArcGIS data maps and structures as part of a city or site’s digital twin. Depending on the location and site needs, we will integrate other data sources to help with predictive modeling; weather forecasts, historical traffic patterns, and other relevant databases can be used to build intelligence about local issues.

Currently, Citysage is working with a limited number of clients, creating unique tailored solutions. Contact us at to learn more and see if we are the right fit for your project.