Communities from eight nations over five continents named as semi-finalists in ICF’s annual Intelligent Community of the Year Awards Program
(February 23, 2023 – New York, NY, USA) – At the conclusion of a virtual conference hosted by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) and co-hosted by Economic Development Australia (EDA) and the Economic Developers Association of Canada (EDAC), ICF today named the world’s Smart21 Communities of 2023.
The selection of the annual Smart21 Communities of the Year marks the semi-finalist phase in ICF’s annual Awards Program. The program will conclude when ICF names the 2023 Intelligent Community of the Year in October at the ICF Summit. One of these 21 communities named today will succeed New Taipei City, the 2022 Intelligent Community of the Year.
Each of the cities, towns, or regions that appear in the Smart21 have applied the six principles of the Community Accelerator Strategy 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.
The Smart21 Communities of 2023:
- Assaí County, Paraná, Brazil
- Astana, Kazakhstan
- Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
- Binh Duong Smart City, Vietnam
- Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada
- Coral Gables, Florida, USA
- Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil
- Defiance, Ohio, USA
- Doral, Florida, USA
- Durham Region, Ontario, Canada
- Estevan, Saskatchewan, Canada
- Fairfield/Jefferson County, Iowa, USA
- Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada
- Greater Geelong, Victoria, Australia
- Grey County, Ontario, Canada
- Hilliard, Ohio, USA
- Pickering, Ontario, Canada
- Ponta Grossa, Paraná, Brazil
- Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
- Townsville, Queensland, Australia
- Whanganui, New Zealand
The Smart21 Communities of 2023 include cities and counties from eight countries spread over five continents. The announcement video may be viewed below. The video is also available by request as a high-resolution download.
“This may be ICF’s most ‘youthful’ and diverse group of cities,” said ICF Co-Founder, Lou Zacharilla, who led the Awards Ceremony announcing the Smart21 Communities of 2023. “We were pleased to see more USA cities than in the past, including from the State of Ohio where ICF’s Institute and last year’s Summit in Dublin has been inspiring the development of more Intelligent Communities. In addition, Brazil has been inspired by Curitiba’s appearance in the Top7 last year and has picked up the pace of participation. The trend of municipalities and counties taking a regional approach to economic growth, development and connectivity is evident on the list as well. As we continue to move to a post-COVID era, more places see a pathway to creating a better place to work and to call ‘home.’ We may have entered a new moment in the smart city and Intelligent Community project.”
Next Steps in the Award Program
Following this announcement, the Smart21 will provide more information on their challenges and successes. From this data, ICF Analysts will select seven to be named the Top7 Intelligent Communities of 2023 at a conference taking place in the Durham Region (Ontario, Canada), on June 20. The Top7 will then be the focus of the 2023 ICF Global Summit in New York City on October 25 and 26, where one will be named the Intelligent Community of the Year. Early registration is open now for the ICF Summit at www.icfsummit.com.
The Smart21 are selected by ICF based on quantitative and qualitative data related to the six Factors of the Community Accelerator Strategy. The Community Accelerator Strategy 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.
The announcement concluded a virtual conference with the theme Turning Connectivity to Growth, which examined the strategies that cities and regions apply to turn broadband into a driver of growth in business investment, employment and shared prosperity. Speakers from communities in the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, Brazil and New Zealand participated, along with representatives from EDA and EDAC, and leading companies such as Entropy and Lit Communities. The archive videos of the conference will be released on ICF’s YouTube page next week. The full program can be found here.
About the Intelligent Community Forum
Starting in 2000 with a research project comparing cities in various nations, the Intelligent Community Forum (www.intelligentcommunity.org) created a unique, data-driven approach to development that puts citizens first while tapping the enormous economic and social potential of technology. In a world dominated by digital, ICF’s mission is to help communities create innovative and growing economies, inclusive societies and affirming cultures open to the world. We do it for communities large and small, in urban clusters and outlying suburbs and rural places through training, consulting, assessment, certification and award programs. ICF believes that digital connectivity and technology create the opportunity for almost every community to develop a dynamic local economy and the social and cultural strengths that go with it – giving them all a chance to be great places to live, work, learn, grow, raise a family and prepare a path for the next generation.
The Forum sponsors 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.”
Intelligent Community Forum Contacts
Matthew Owen, Executive Director, Intelligent Community Forum
Tel. +1 646-291-6166 (x105)
Email: [email protected]
Victoria Krisman, Communications Manager, Intelligent Community Forum
Email: [email protected]