The Intelligent Community Forum Names the Global Top7 Intelligent Communities of 2024

Communities from Brazil, Canada, Taiwan and the United States become finalists for Intelligent Community of the Year to be named at the ICF Global Summit in November in Barcelona

(New York, NY, USA & New Taipei City, Taiwan – June 19, 2024) – In an announcement today at the end of a live conference in New Taipei City, the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) named the Top7 Intelligent Communities of 2024. The 22nd annual Top7 list includes cities and counties from Brazil, Canada, Taiwan and the United States. 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 November. (www.icfsummit.com)

In alphabetical order, the Top7 Intelligent Communities of 2024 are:

  • Assaí, Paraná, Brazil
  • Coral Gables, Florida, USA
  • Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil
  • Durham Region, Ontario, Canada
  • Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada
  • Hilliard, Ohio, USA
  • Yunlin County, Taiwan

Four of this year’s Top7 Intelligent Communities appeared on the Top7 list in 2023: Coral Gables, Curitiba, Durham Region and Hilliard. Fredericton was named a Top7 Community in 2022, and Assaí and Yunlin County are making their first appearances as Top7 Communities this year.

The announcement was made at the conclusion of the Top7 Conference, hosted by New Taipei City, ICF’s 2022 Intelligent Community of the Year. With the theme AI: The Innovation Accelerator, the conference featured panel discussions and presentations from mayors, members of Council and CEOs from seven nations as well as CIOs, futurists, researchers and other experts in the Intelligent Community field.

“The Top7 always include cities and regions that are new to the Awards program and ones that have been honored in the past,” said ICF co-founder John Jung. “The Intelligent Community journey is not completed in a day or a year, but builds from strategies and small triumphs to much greater accomplishment by people and organizations across the community. Intelligent Communities balance continuity and innovation, digital connectivity and the person-to-person kind, the economy of today and the emerging economy of tomorrow. We are proud to honor all the Top7 for what they have accomplished and will achieve in the future.”

 

 

The ICF Top7 Intelligent Communities of 2024, models of economic, social and cultural development in the digital age, will be featured throughout the ICF Summit in Barcelona this November. Representatives from the Top7 will take part in the program and one of the Top7 will be named the 2024 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.

Assaí in the state of Paraná, Brazil makes its first appearance as a Top7 Intelligent Community this year. Founded in 1920 by Japanese immigrants, Assai originally prospered as the “white gold capital” of cotton production. But as agricultural production shifted elsewhere, the city diversified its economy and developed a workforce ready for new industries. In 2022, it enacted a strategic plan to attract investment from multinational companies, leading to partnerships with over 90 firms and making Assaí into the first CityLab in Brazil. These partnerships led to high-quality fiber and wireless connectivity, which powered another initiative called City Points SUNFLOWER. This program rewards users with cashback and retail discounts that encourage citizens to recycle, use renewable energy and vaccinate against diseases. The same idea has been applied to education through “gamification” that motivates students and prepares their community for the future.

Coral Gables in the state of Florida, USA makes its second consecutive appearance as a Top7 Intelligent community in 2024. Located east of Miami and with a population slightly under 50,000, this city has started a series of Smart City programs in recent years and is already reaping the rewards. With its Smart Districts Expansion Project, Coral Gables has implemented a robust and resilient technology infrastructure through multiple innovation districts, providing connectivity, visibility, control and automation of city services. In 2013, the city passed a Sustainability Master Plan focused on renewable energy, green buildings, decarbonization and coastal resiliency, which has seen it become a sustainability leader in Florida and across the USA.

Curitiba in the state of Paraná, Brazil makes its fourth straight appearance as a Top7 Intelligent Community this year. Curitiba’s commitment to only welcoming non-polluting employers and its development of an industrial space filled with green space has made it one of the most sustainable cities in Brazil – and an attractive destination for innovative companies and top talent. Over 25% of its workers are employed by high-tech companies, and that number continues to grow. The city has also developed the impressive Speaks Curitiba program, boosting civic engagement from all 75 of its neighborhoods, and involving citizens in constructing budgets and development plans. Since last named a Top7 Community, Curitiba has continued to receive global recognition for its success, having received the Smart City award in November at the 2023 Smart City Expo in Barcelona.

The Durham Region makes its third consecutive appearance as a Top7 Intelligent Community in 2024. This regional municipality provides shared services and program coordination to eight local governments in Ontario, Canada – a diverse group with economic sectors ranging from agriculture to automotive manufacturing and clean energy. It has completed the first phase of a 700-kilometer fiber network targeting underserved rural areas. A regional program is helping hundreds of low-income families every year access Canada’s financial assistance programs for post-secondary education. Senior citizen centers provide low-cost tech training to thousands of older residents. In March, it made headlines with the successful delivery of the third generation of the CityROVER A.I. system, which was developed by Visual Defence in collaboration with the Durham Region and the Ontario Government. Durham Region’s use of CityROVER A.I. for pothole detection is just one of the many examples of its Intelligent Community practices.

Fredericton in New Brunswick, Canada is making its fourth appearance as a Top7 Intelligent Community this year. The provincial capital and home to over 60,000 people, Fredericton began its Intelligent Community journey 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, the plan 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. Household income has grown by double digits over the past decade, and more than 70% of New Brunswick’s knowledge industries call Fredericton home, as does the newest ICF Intelligent Community Institute at New Brunswick Community College. 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.

Hilliard in the state of Ohio, USA makes its second straight appearance as a Top7 Intelligent Community in 2024. This city of 38,000 in the metropolitan region of Columbus is a model of small-city innovation and growth on a technology foundation. In just a few years, its municipal dark-fiber network has attracted many service providers, while connecting companies, schools and city buildings, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars. Its partnership with Amazon Web Services brings technology and business education into schools, while the city and its partners have launched more than a dozen apprenticeship programs in technology, healthcare and IT. The Hilliard City Lab is guiding high-tech companies to prototype new technologies, including an automated drone network to support first responders, which NASA, the US Air Force and other government agencies expect to become a national template. In May, the city opened an A.I. Sandbox, allowing Hilliard businesses to test artificial intelligence concepts and products without exhausting their budgets.

Yunlin County in Taiwan makes its first appearance as a Top7 Intelligent Community this year. This county of 660,000 people is known for agriculture, supplying tea leaves, papaya, melon and more. In recent years, it has faced the challenges of an aging workforce and exodus of youth. The county responded in 2019 with the establishment of the Local Revitalization Office tasked with shaping a new Yunlin using resources from industry, government and academia. Free WiFi is offered in 219 public places throughout the county. Its agricultural sector adopted new climate-smart agricultural practices and IoT digitalization. To prepare its children for the future, the county instituted a STEAM program for students called Transforming Destiny. And its 100% Waste Recycled program, which turns waste into a substitute for coal, makes Yunlin a model for the waste-to-energy circular economy.


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, sustainable 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 sustainable path for the next generation.

The Forum sponsors Institutes in North America and Taiwan 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 were 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.


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