Intelligent Community Forum Announces the Smart21 Communities of 2010
A snapshot of communities from 13 countries navigating the Great Recession using broadband and information technology
Published Friday, October 16, 2009 7:00 am
Smart21 Communities are Semi-Finalists in coveted Intelligent Community of the Year Awards program
(New York City, USA - 16 October 2009) – The Intelligent Community Forum announced this evening its eagerly-awaited list of the Smart21 Communities of 2010. The announcement was made by Co-Founder Louis Zacharilla at an event hosted by the Swedish Consulate General in New York. Stockholm, Sweden was the ICF’s 2009 Intelligent Community of the Year.
The Smart21 announcement is the first stage of ICF's annual Intelligent Community Awards cycle. It is followed by the naming of the Top Seven Intelligent Communities of the Year, selected from among the 21. The Top Seven announcement will be made on January 20, 2010 at the annual Pacific Telecommunications Council annual conference (www.ptc.org) in Honolulu, Hawaii during an awards luncheon. The cycle concludes in New York City on May 21, 2010, during ICF’s annual Building the Broadband Economy Summit (www.icfsummit.com), where one of the Top Seven will succeed Stockholm as Intelligent Community of the Year 2010.
The new list represents 13 nations and includes 10 communities that appeared on last year’s list. One community, Dundee, Scotland, returned to the list after a one-year absence. Dundee was named to the ICF’s Top Seven list in both 2007 and 2008. One American state, Virginia, contributed three communities to the list. There were one Chinese and two Australian communities on the list, as well as three from Canada, which has had more communities named by ICF than any other nation.
ICF noted that several communities on the 2010 list reported serious challenges caused by the global Great Recession but that, as a whole, the commitment made to broadband, innovation and a knowledge-based economy was serving as a hedge. Most continue to invest in research and development facilities, the creation and aggressive support of small business and “clusters” of industries that continued to produce new jobs. Despite the slowdown in the financial and private sector, ICF noted that the 21 reported continuous reinvestment in schools, educational programs linked to knowledge work and broadband-related networks and applications.
“We certainly saw the impact of the recession in the data and reports from these communities. The downturn is taking a toll, with a few exceptions. However these communities remain confidently on course, knowing that the work they are doing is an investment in the long-term and to the shaping of a community of the 21st Century,” said ICF Co-Founder Louis Zacharilla.
ICF noted that, while the number of repeats from previous years is surprising, it may represent the fact that these communities have been putting their Intelligent Community building blocks into place for a long time, and continue to make progress each year that ICF judges as substantive. “Becoming an intelligent community is not an overnight activity,” said ICF Co-Founder and Chairman John G. Jung. “It really does take an enormous amount of commitment, human capital, political leadership, collaboration and an embrace of ideas and approaches that are new and I would say still a little scary to many communities. We are all proud of these communities and wish them well in our awards program.”
The Smart21 of 2010 The Smart21 of 2010 includes communities from 13 nations from every continent except Africa this year, with a mix of different size communities, in terms of population. No community in this year’s rankings has over 2.5 million inhabitants.
Arlington County, Virginia USA; population: 210,000
Ballarat, Australia; population: 88,000
Besancon, France; population: 122,000
Bristol, Virginia, USA; population: 17,590
Dakota County, Minnesota, USA; population: 398,500
Danville, Virginia, USA; population: 42,000
Dublin, Ohio, USA; population: 40,000
Dundee, Scotland; population: 142,000
Eindhoven, The Netherlands; population: 733,000
Gold Coast City, Queensland, Australia; population: 500,000
Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada; population: 65,000
In a taped message, Stockholm Mayor Sten Nordin, referring to Stockholm’s success in 2009 and offering counsel to the new Smart21, told the audience, “For us, this (the ICF program) is all about the possibilities of urban living. We want to facilitate everyday life for our citizens. A city like ours knows that it functions best when it serves its inhabitants. In Stockholm we make great efforts each day to meet their demands.”
During the evening, Mr. Olle Cyren, the head of Stockholm’s Development Administration offered each of the invited guests a gift: a tree to be planted in their name by the City of Stockholm in the nation of Sudan.
ICF also took the occasion to announce the publication of a new book, “Future Cities,” which focuses on the future of urban centers and how they will ultimately shape the future of the planet. Editors Dr. Joseph Pelton and Dr. Indu Singh, who contributed essays to the book were present at the Smart21 presentation and addressed the gathering.
More information on each community is available at ICF's Web site. The Smart21 were selected from hundreds of candidates and submissions from communities large and small from every continent.
About ICF The Intelligent Community Forum (www.intelligentcommunity.org) is a New York-based think tank that studies the economic and social development of the 21st Century community. Whether in industrial or developing nations, communities are challenged to create prosperity, stability and cultural meaning in a world where jobs, investment and progress increasingly depend on broadband communications. The Intelligent Community Forum seeks to share best practices and offer research and insights into the success of the world's Intelligent Communities. ICF conducts research, hosts events, publishes reports and newsletters and produces an international awards program. ICF has partnered with the Polytechnic Institute of New York University since 2005. The Intelligent Community Forum was founded by Robert A. Bell, John G. Jung and Louis A. Zacharilla.