Communities from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Taiwan and Vietnam become finalists for Intelligent Community of the Year to be named at the ICF Summit in October
(New York, USA & Binh Duong, Vietnam – June 21, 2022) – In an announcement today at the conclusion of a hybrid live and online conference, the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) named the Top7 Intelligent Communities of 2022. The 20th annual Top7 list includes cities and counties from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Taiwan and Vietnam. One of these seven finalists in the think tank’s annual awards program will be named the Intelligent Community of the Year at the ICF Summit in October. (www.icfsummit.com)
In alphabetical order, the Top7 Intelligent Communities of 2021 are:
- Binh Duong Smart City, Vietnam
- Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil
- Regional Municipality of Durham, Ontario, Canada
- Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada
- New Taipei City, Taiwan
- Prospect, South Australia, Australia
- Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
Five of this year’s Top7 Intelligent Communities have appeared on the Top7 list in previous years: Binh Duong Smart City and Curitiba in 2021, Fredericton in 2008 and 2009, New Taipei City from 2014 to 2016 and Sunshine Coast in 2019 and 2020. The Regional Municipality of Durham and Prospect are making their first appearance as Top7 Communities.
The announcement was made at the conclusion of a day-long hybrid live and online conference with the theme of How Digital Innovation Drives Growth. It featured panel discussions and presentations from mayors, CIOs, futurists, researchers, and other experts in the Intelligent Community field.
“This year's Top7 represent a group of innovators who have made steady progress using digital innovations to improve the quality of their citizen's lives,” said ICF co-founder Louis Zacharilla, who delivered the Keynote address at the event. “Most represent an example of continuous improvement at a higher level.”
The ICF Top7 Intelligent Communities of 2022, models of economic, social and cultural development in the digital age, will be featured throughout the ICF Summit in October. Representatives from the Top7 will take part in the program’s features – including special Top7 Conversations – and one of the Top7 will be named the 2022 Intelligent Community of the Year. For more information on the ICF Summit, visit http://www.icfsummit.com.
Following are snapshots of this year’s Top7 Intelligent Communities. Complete profiles and data can be found online on ICF's Website.
Binh Duong Smart City has been named a Top7 Intelligent Community for the second time. The city has worked closely with its citizens to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic – but never lost sight of its ambitions to craft a powerful innovation ecosystem, create strategic links with the world and promote balanced economic development as a center of science and technology. Its progress has been aided by advice from the 2011 Intelligent Community of the Year, Eindhoven in the Netherlands. Adapting Eindhoven’s triple-helix model of development to an emerging economy, Binh Duong Smart City aims to build an innovative society and a sustainable quality of life for its people.
Curitiba in the Brazilian state of Paraná is evidence that urban planning works. For nearly 40 years, while other Brazilian cities welcomed heavy industry, Curitiba accepted only non-polluting employers. It developed an industrial district with so much green space that it was called a golf course – until it filled up with more than 3,500 companies. Master plans created attractive neighborhoods across the city and a range of citizen services rarely found in emerging economies, while an open access fiber network serves the city and much of the state. Today, Curitiba is focused on developing an innovation ecosystem on that digital foundation through educational-business partnerships, high-tech training, internships and a network of start-up spaces. With high-tech companies employing 25% of its workforce, Curitiba has achieved a per-capita income that is almost twice the Brazilian average.
The Regional Municipality of Durham, known informally as the Durham Region, provides shared services to eight municipalities in Ontario, Canada. It is a diverse group of communities, with economic sectors ranging from agriculture to automotive manufacturing to clean energy. The Region focuses on filling gaps that disadvantage some places and populations, so that everyone succeeds together. It has begun development of a 700-kilometer fiber network, with its first segments in underserved rural areas. Canada offers low-income families financial assistance for post-secondary education, but bureaucratic barriers have kept 60% of eligible children from receiving it. The Region has launched an innovative program to shrink that number by hundreds every year. Senior Citizen Centres provide low-cost technology training to thousands of older residents, and a government-business partnership is conducting an autonomous vehicle pilot program to shuttle people from underserved areas to rail stations.
Fredericton is the capital of the province of New Brunswick, Canada. Its path as an Intelligent Community began in the 1990s, when it established a plan for an economic development partnership among government, universities, a budding entrepreneurial sector and established companies. Updated every few years, it guided the development of the public-private Knowledge Park as a home for knowledge-based industries. The city targeted technology growth sectors and led creation of a broadband cooperative that built the digital infrastructure no private-sector carrier was willing to provide. Today, more than 70% of New Brunswick’s knowledge industries call Fredericton home and household income has grown by double digits over the past decade. The city expects its population to grow 50% in the next 25 years and has engaged its people and employers in planning an even more vibrant, diverse and sustainable community.
New Taipei City (NTC) is unique among cities in Taiwan. It was created in 2010 by linking 29 districts and 1,000 villages that ring the national capital, Taipei. The goal was to unite the many parts into a new whole and to engage the talents and energy of their people to drive economic growth. Massive investment has gone into roads and rails to create routes connecting all parts of the city, but the real focus has been on technology. Partnering with the private sector, NTC has boosted the household adoption rate of high-speed broadband past 91%. The city has connected more than 300 schools, put tablets and computers into classrooms and driven the installation of 10,000 Wi-Fi hotspots. To tap the new city’s immense potential, NTC has identified seven strategic industries for development. Just three of its business parks, each focused on a different industry, have attracted 1.5 billion US dollars in investment. A cloud-computing center called U-Town has attracted more than 2,000 businesses and created 80,000 jobs. Where hundreds of local governments once struggled to prosper, NTC has created one government with the vision and resources to grow.
Located in South Australia, Prospect is a city of 21,000 people on the edge of the state’s capital, Adelaide. Since 2012, it has worked with the National Broadband Network to replace the old copper-wire network with fiber broadband. A Next-Generation Digital program is teaching residents and businesses how to put that connectivity to work. One project is Little City Studio, a co-working space for people who have outgrown their home offices. It has been so successful that plans are in the works for a new Innovation Center that combines the Studio with other resources from the library to a digital training center. Success has also raised the city’s sights. It persuaded a private carrier to deploy a 10 Gbps network that connects Prospect’s incubators, accelerators and co-working sites to Adelaide’s universities and industrial parks. The new network has grown the economic reach of the city and turned what could be just a bedroom community for the state capital into an economic center in its own right.
The Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia joins the list of Top7 Intelligent Communities for the third time. This city of nearly 300,000 people, with its high quality of life, has diversified its tourist economy through programs that develop local innovation capacity while attracting inward investment. In partnership with educators, it produces workshops, career expos, coding events and apprenticeships to skill up its young generation and give them the ambition to go further. Co-working spaces, incubators and coding programs at the Innovation Center Sunshine Coast provide a foundation for startups, while a regional innovation program supports entrepreneurs and innovative businesses with events and targeted investments. In 2020, a new submarine cable landing station opened in the Sunshine Coast, making it a vital interconnection point for global communications. That attracted major investment in broadband network buildouts by telecom carriers. It stimulated new business formation and led to the city becoming Australia’s second Cybersecurity Innovation Node. Strong and imaginative collaboration among government, business, educators and nonprofits continues to drive the Sunshine Coast to new heights.
About the Intelligent Community Forum
The Intelligent Community Forum (www.intelligentcommunity.org), headquartered in New York, is a global network of 185 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 broadband and digital technology. 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.” 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.
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