ICF Names the Smart21 Communities of 2021

Communities from eight nations, including Vietnam and the United Kingdom, named this year

(24 February 2021 – Township of Langley, City of Maple Ridge & New York City) – At the conclusion of a virtual conference hosted by the Township of Langley and the City of Maple Ridge in British Columbia, Canada, and in a simultaneous global announcement online from its New York City headquarters, the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) today named the world’s Smart21 Communities of 2021.

Selection of this group of regions, cities and towns begins the think tank’s annual nine-month process which will conclude when ICF names the 2021 Intelligent Community of the Year in October 2021 at the ICF Summit. Each has applied the six principles of the ICF Method to begin building inclusive economic prosperity, social health and cultural richness, which together make a community strong and resilient. Most have been working on their programs for several years.

Following this announcement, the Smart21 will complete detailed questionnaires providing more information on their communities. Seven of them will advance to being named the Top7 Intelligent Communities of 2021, which will be announced during virtual conference taking place 22-24 June. The Top7 will be the focus of the 2021 ICF Global Summit in October, where one will be named the Intelligent Community of the Year.

“Canada again asserted itself on our annual list of 21,” said ICF co-founder Lou Zacharilla. “This is our most diverse group. Despite the great challenges facing most of these communities in 2020, the work to create Intelligent Communities went forward with an eye on inclusion, diversity and economic progress in a post-COVID world. The successor to Tallinn is going to be unlike that Estonian city in many ways – but will share the goal of creating a better life for each citizen.”

The Smart21 Communities of 2021 include cities and counties from eight countries. The announcement video may be viewed below. The video is available by request as a high-resolution download.



The Smart21 Communities of 2021:

  • Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
  • Alexandria Lakes Area, Minnesota, USA
  • Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
  • Binh Duong Smart City, Vietnam
  • Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada
  • Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil
  • Durham Region, Ontario, Canada
  • Fairlawn, Ohio, USA
  • Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada
  • Township of Langley, British Columbia, Canada
  • City of Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada
  • Markham, Ontario, Canada
  • Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
  • Moscow, Russia
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Prospect, South Australia, Australia
  • Rochester, New York, USA
  • Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
  • Townsville, Queensland, Australia
  • Wellington, New Zealand
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada


The 2021 Smart21 Communities were named on the final day of a three-day virtual conference hosted by the Township of Langley and the City of Maple Ridge and sponsored by the Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU), Clearcable, and WorkBC. The conference focused on how the technology revolution of our time can be made to serve the people, businesses and institutions of communities. More information about the event can be found at https://www.intelligentcommunity.org/2021_icf_smart21_conference. This week’s conference, hosted by the City of Maple Ridge and Township of Langley, took place on the unceded, traditional territories of the Kwantlen, Katzie, Matsqui, and Semiamhoo First Nations.

The Smart21 are selected by ICF based on quantitative and qualitative data related to the six Factors of the ICF Method. The data and information are evaluated by a global team of Analysts led by Columbia professor, former Cisco executive and former Westchester County (New York) CIO, Dr. Norman Jacknis. Dr. Jacknis serves as a Senior Fellow of the Intelligent Community Forum. The ICF Method provides the conceptual framework for understanding the factors that determine a community’s competitiveness in economic, social and cultural terms. Click here to learn more about the ICF Method.

About the Intelligent Community Forum
The Intelligent Community Forum (www.intelligentcommunity.org), headquartered in New York, is a global movement of 180 cities, metro regions and counties with a think tank at its heart and a mission to make everyone’s “hometown” at great place. ICF studies and promotes the best practices of the world's Intelligent Communities as they adapt to the new demands and seize the opportunities presented by information and communications technology (ICT). To help cities and regions build prosperous economies, solve social problems and enrich local cultures, the Intelligent Community Forum conducts research, hosts events around the globe, publishes books, and produces its high-profile annual international awards program. The Forum sponsors research Institutes in North America dedicated to the study of the movement, and national organizations in Canada and Taiwan, both home to many Intelligent Communities. In 2012 ICF was invited to participate at the Nobel Peace Prize conference in Oslo and in 2014, its model and work was recognized by the U.S. Department of Commerce under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, which, according to the American government, was "aimed at creating a more flexible and responsive system of workforce development to meet the needs of employers looking to fill 21st century jobs.” The Forum’s membership is made up of 180 designated Intelligent Communities worldwide. For more information, go to www.intelligentcommunity.org/icf_membership. For more details on the Intelligent Community Forum’s recent publications and programs, www.intelligentcommunity.org.

Intelligent Community Forum Contacts
Matthew Owen
Director of Operations
Intelligent Community Forum
Phone: +1 646-291-6166 (x105)
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @Newcommunities

Victoria Krisman
Communications Manager
Intelligent Community Forum
Email: [email protected]

Matthew Owen
Director of Operations, Intelligent Community Forum
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