Every year in July, we open the Intelligent Community Awards to new nominations. And every year, we find ourselves engaged in the same strange balancing act.
ICF is a global network of cities and regions with a think tank at its center. That think tank conducts research to learn how cities and regions use broadband and IT to create inclusive local prosperity, to address big social problems, and to enrich their quality of life.Read more
But when it comes to the economy, especially growing global trade, we often hear of great distinctions between city and countryside. Indeed, it is often assumed that most of any country’s economy can be attributed to its cities and public policy follows that assumption.Read more
Around this time of year a lot of cities and communities have started to worry that their nomination for our 2016 Awards program might not be “perfect.” I have an answer for that: if anyone has a perfect city, please send your submission to us right now so that we can name you The Intelligent Community of Forever. While it is not impossible that your place is perfect, I say that this is highly improbable. So relax. This year we have revised the form so that it should be easier for first-time communities to send along their submissions and we expect them ALL to be works-in-progress. After all, as we say, a community is a creative canvas not a fixed stone.Read more
This year’s Summit in Toronto was different and perhaps needs to be recounted. First of all, it was produced by an entirely new entity, ICF Canada, in partnership with Waterfront Toronto, City of Toronto, Invest Toronto and the Summit’s Platinum Sponsors, IBM and Cisco. We also had an anniversary - the 20th Anniversary Edition! We had our best-ever event this year since 1995 when we held SMART95 in Toronto – the world’s first ever Smart City conference. So it was no surprize to us that 20 years later we held a phenomenal SOLD OUT event once again that covered 5 days from June 8-12.Read more
The ICF Summit in Toronto (www.icfsummit2015.com) had a lot of moments I will long remember.
Onstage discussions among ICF mayors, city managers and IT directors about how they are collaborating with each other across borders to build their economies.
Visionary of the Year (2014) Suneet Singh Tuli committing to provide a Toronto-based charity with hundreds of his low-cost Datawind tablets for low-income kids.Read more
Last week, the Intelligent Community Forum held its annual summit in Toronto. The underlying theme was “How Intelligent Communities Are Re-Inventing Urban and Rural Planning”, so much of the discussion was about re-invention and innovating.
In addition to the all-day workshops for large urban jurisdictions and smaller cities/towns/rural areas, all of Friday was devoted to Ideas Day – with a slew of presentations sharing novel approaches to local government and planning.Read more
When I heard that they were rumbling into Canada on a big “Buckeye” bus, the same one used by the university’s American-style football team, I thought to myself, “Either the delegation from Columbus, Ohio is very confident, or they are afraid of flying.” Neither was the case, since the delegation was mainly there to learn, to network and, of course, to represent themselves as one of the world’s Top7 Intelligent Communities of the Year. In the end, however, our Jury and researchers decided that Columbus had enough of the right stuff to accumulate the points needed to push it upward, after several tries, to Intelligent Community of the Year. The city with the “inner go” earned the right to go back home in that bus as the 2015 Intelligent Community of the Year. They did it their way, proving again, as I said in an interview in their city in April, that no one is fast enough to run away from who they really are.Read more
A little thing like an introduction can sometimes lead to a very big outcome. Connections between ICFF Member Intelligent Communities, for instance, can result in mutual benefits and economic development success stories that can help inspire others and provide invaluable lessons for their evolution as successful Intelligent Communities. At the ICF Summit in Toronto this year - on June 9, you can meet and hear from some of the people behind these successful connections including success stories from Dublin, Ohio and Arlington, Virginia, as well as between Eindhoven in the Netherlands and Waterloo, in Canada. The latter, in fact, is evolving in extra-special terms with a little help from some pomp and ceremony.Read more
If you are a property developer in a big city, I have bad news. Nobody likes you.
Okay, maybe I exaggerate. Maybe your family likes you. Perhaps your dog looks up to you. But nobody else does. And why should they? You are filthy rich. You control the places the rest of us live and work. Politicians fawn on you and bend the rules for you. Did I mention you’re filthy rich, too?Read more
During our recent briefings for new ICF jurors, one the most frequently asked questions was “how do we measure a big city, such as New Taipei against a small one, such as Mitchell?” Our answer is simple. We use a universal sports analogy to make it clear.
As it is with people so it is with cities and communities. Being small creates an inferiority complex that either leads to a despondent resignation of one’s status, or a powerful will to look at it as an opportunity to overachieve. ICF jurors are tasked with looking at the bigger heavyweights of the Top7 and the smaller overachievers in this year’s group and determining which one has done the most to excel at each of the six criteria.Read more