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Top 21 Intelligent Communities in the World Are Announced

What's New, 2013-10-21

The Intelligent Community Forum today released their annual list of the world's Smart21 Communities of 2014 during the 2013 Institute for the Study of Intelligent Community Global Symposium held at Walsh University. This select group of communities is now in contention for the prestigious designation of Intelligent Community of the Year in June 2014.

"Once again the cities and towns on the Smart21 list have impressed us with their ability to use innovative ideas, broadband resources and hard work to improve local economic and social conditions," said Intelligent Community co-founder Louis Zacharilla. "Not surprisingly, there are many repeats on the list, which means that continuous and sustained improvements are taking place. Building great communities is a long process." Only 126 communities around the world have been named an Intelligent Community over the past 16 years.

Zacharilla also notes that the United Nations Habitat agency stated in its 2012-2013 State of World's Cities report that there's been a lopsided focus solely on economic growth that cannot be sustained and has created inequalities between rich and poor. "We were pleased to see that the UN agency urges a path very similar to the Intelligent Community Forum approach where communities take a more holistic approach to prosperity and innovation, and seeks to emphasize the human potential in all places and also the fact that cities and towns need to create new industries, not replacement jobs, especially if more of us are going to realistically move toward a middle-class lifestyle," said Zacharilla.

The Smart21 of 2014
This year the Smart21 is comprised of six communities from Canada, four from both Australia and the United States, three from Taiwan and one each from Kenya, Greece, Brazil and New Zealand. The communities range in size from 15,000 people in Mitchell, USA to more than six million in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Fifteen of the communities are returning to the Smart21 list while Coffs Harbour, Montreal, Nairobi County, Parkland County, Sunshine Coast and Walla Walla are making a first time appearance.

The Intelligent Community Forum produced a video about the Smart21 for 2014. It can be viewed here.

Intelligent Community Forum Smart21 Communities for 2014

  • Arlington County, Virginia, USA
  • Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, Australia
  • Columbus, Ohio, USA
  • Heraklion, Crete, Greece
  •  Hsinchu City, Taiwan
  •  Kingston, Ontario; Canada
  •  Mitchell, South Dakota; USA
  •  Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  •  Nairobi County, Kenya
  •  New Taipei City, Taiwan
  •  Parkland County, Alberta, Canada
  •  Prospect, South Australia, Australia
  •  Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
  •  Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  •  Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
  • Taoyuan County, Taiwan
  • Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  •  Walla Walla, Washington, USA
  •  Wanganui, New Zealand
  •  Whittlesea, Victoria, Australia
  •  Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

 The announcement of the Smart21 list was made at the kickoff dinner for the annual Intelligent Community Symposium at Walsh University's Institute for the Study of the Intelligent Community in North Canton, Ohio, USA. The Symposium attracts international experts in the fields of education, technology, and business to discuss successful strategies for building prosperous and sustainable communities. Keynote speakers include Datawind CEO, Suneet Singh Tuli, whose Aakash 2 tablet computer is the world's least expensive.

Evaluation of nominations is based on the five Intelligent Community Indicators, which provide the conceptual framework for understanding all of the factors that determine a community's competitiveness and point to its success in the broadband economy. In addition, the Awards are guided by this year's theme, Community as Canvas, that looks at three specific aspects of culture: as art and craftwork with both economic and social value, as heritage that gives a place its identity, and as attitudes arising from that heritage that determine how people react to change. ICF released a white paper discussing the theme, which can be downloaded here.