The Digital Tools of Community-Building

Intelligent Communities use digital tools to enhance the connections that have always made cities work.

ICT is the disruptive force of our age. It is also the tool that Intelligent Communities use to turn threat into opportunity, and to pivot from economic decline and social dislocation to prosperity and inclusion. The profiles of Intelligent Communities show relentless innovation in using digital tools to help citizens and organizations access opportunity, strengthen bonds and contribute to a better future.

Examples from Intelligent Communities

Montreal, Quebec, Canada
A Smart City plan introduced in 2011 focuses on build-out of the city’s wired and wireless broadband infrastructure, as well as creating a collaborative ecosystem involving business, institutions and citizens. An open “citizen laboratory” invites participation in incubating social technologies. An aggressive train-the-trainer program operates from 85 centers to equip community leaders with digital skills, which also help the significant portion of the population who struggle with basic literacy, a legacy of the city’s industrial past. More >>>

New Taipei City, Taiwan
The city’s Research, Development and Evaluation Commission has introduced a system called Hot Spots Analysis. It draws on posts to the city’s Web portals, the logs of the emergency response center, and traffic on social networks to identify issues raised frequently by citizens that are not being properly addressed. More >>>

Columbus, Ohio, USA
MyColumbus started out as a student project at Ohio State University. Students worked with the IT department of the city to identify publicly-accessible databases that could provide the most up-to-date information on city services, location of facilities and schedules of public events. They then built an app to access the data and turn it into easy-to-understand information. The city’s IT department was so impressed with the result that, with the students’ permission, it hired a software company to expand the app and put a professional gloss on it. More >>>

Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany
A government-business-academic partnership is building an Innovation Triangle program connecting all the links in the educational chain from secondary school through higher education and local employment. Mülheim is establishing a consumer Internet hub to promote e-business start-ups, which will make it one of five digital hubs in the state of North-Rhine Westphalia. The hub will offer business accelerator programs, co-working and incubator space, access to seed funding and to educational programs in business administration, legal and taxation issues. More >>>

Learn More from the Intelligent Community Network

Nearly 150 cities and regions have been named Intelligent Communities and each has made a unique contribution to our understanding of the Internet of Cities. More >>>

Take the First Step Toward Becoming an Intelligent Community

Take the Self-Test to learn about your community’s readiness.

Nominate your community for the Intelligent Community Awards and receive a detailed and confidential comparison to our global data set.

Select from the ICF library of books and white papers on Intelligent Communities.

Learn about the Community Accelerator, which prepares communities for progress as well as our Awards program.

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