Kiwis Beat Aussies Into World’s Intelligent Communities List

New York-based think tank The Intelligent Community Forum has announced its list of the Top 7 Intelligent Communities in the world, and Australia didn’t rate a mention.

The fourteenth annual Top 7 list, which rates cities based upon their competitiveness in the so-called “broadband economy” includes cities from four nations, with three communities in Canada, two in Taiwan, one in Germany, and one in New Zealand.45437255_l

In alphabetical order, they are:

  • Hsinchu County, Taiwan
  • Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • Muelheim an der Ruhr, Germany
  • New Taipei City, Taiwan
  • Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
  • Whanganui, New Zealand
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Before Australians despair it is worth noting that two Australian cities did make the The Smart21 list from which this list is drawn.

Those two cities are Ipswich in Queensland and Armidale in New South Wales, both of which are small regional cities which are not magnets for the nation’s knowledge workers. australia

This raises the question of how seriously we can take a survey which rates Armidale ahead of the international city of Sydney in term of competitiveness in the broadband economy.

Those two cities are Ipswich in Queensland and Armidale in New South Wales, both of which are small regional cities which are not magnets for the nation’s knowledge workers.

This raises the question of how seriously we can take a survey which rates Armidale ahead of the international city of Sydney in term of competitiveness in the broadband economy.

In 1980, Taiwan’s National Science Council set up the nation’s first science park in Hsinchu County, as a means to create a domestic high-tech industry.

Today, the 500 companies in Hsinchu Science Park employ 150,000 people and generate US$16.6 billion in total revenue.

More than 10 percent of them are spin-outs from one of many Hsinchu’s universities and research institutes.

Today, the city’s challenge is to translate economic success into civic success: to make Hsinchu County a sustainable Intelligent Community with a high quality of life, where innovation is a part of people’s daily lives. Government and business are pursuing the goal on multiple fronts. 

The largest French-speaking city in North America, the Montreal Metro Area is home to more than a tenth of Canada’s population.

The region was hit by the decline of heavy industry in the Eighties, and launched a large-scale transition of its economy to ICT, aerospace, life sciences, health technologies and clean tech. Together, these clusters contain more than 6,250 companies employing about 10% of the workforce.

The city’s economic future depends on helping those small-scale innovators to collaborate in building a bigger future, while preserving the culture and beauty that attract 3.5 million visitors to the area each year.

To ensure that the city has the broadband infrastructure it needs, Mülheim completed an inventory of the telecom conduit network owned by multiple organizations that underlies the city, which reduces the challenges for new broadband providers and has encouraged the city to consider construction of its own network.

As the city changes, it has been careful to engage organizations and citizens as partners in envisioning the future.

One multi-partner initiative is coordinating a program to cut carbon emissions in half by 2030, while another is forging a new urban development model that includes everything from business and social services to sustainability and health.

New Taipei City (NTPC) became the nation’s most populous city with its official creation in December 2010.

Previously, it was a county surrounding the capital city of Tapei, and NTPC has worked to unify the new city and create a dynamic economy distinct from that of the capital.

Massive investments in transportation are creating highways and transit lines that, ringing Taipei, connect the city’s 29 districts and more than 1,000 villages.

The NTPC government has collaborated with telecom and cable TV companies to make ADSL available to 99% of the population, while speeds of up to 60 Mbps are available to 94% and 4G WiMax reaches 85%.

Surrey is a city in transition, from a suburban past to a sustainable urban future.

It is Canada’s third fastest-growing city, which welcomes 1,000 new residents each month and where residential construction is a major industry.

It is part of the growing metropolitan area of Vancouver, from which it derives most of its economic energy today. city family urban suburb

To gain greater control over its destiny, Surrey has developed a diversification strategy calling for deepening the partnership between its institutions of higher learning and local business. Development is focused on an Innovation Boulevard project, where the city, universities and business are building clusters in health technology, clean tech and advanced manufacturing.

Bypassed by national rail lines in the 19th Century – which led to the closing of a railways workshop that was a major employer – it was bypassed again by broadband providers in the 20th.

For Whanganui, on the southwest coast of New Zealand’s North Island, the best of times may lie ahead.

Rich in natural beauty and culture, Whanganui is currently the ninth poorest district in New Zealand and ranks near the bottom of the national index of social deprivation.

However, the city has begun its transformation and it’s in the 8th year of a” Family-Friendly Strategy” that has overlaid broadband on goals set for the economy, community partnerships, health, safety, cultural richness and environmental sustainability.

Located midway between the two coasts of Canada, Winnipeg is the capital of a province rich in agricultural and natural resources.

The city has pursued economic growth by connecting industry and education more systematically, and leveraging its indigenous geographical and cultural assets.

A public-private R&D organization develops technologies and supply chains for high-performance composites based on agricultural materials, while there has been a programmatic attempt to equip its large aboriginal population with digital tools.

Before being selected as a Top 7 Intelligent Community, these cities were among those named to ICF’s list of the Smart21 Communities of the Year.

The Smart21 were named in October 2015 at ICF’s Institute in Dublin, Ohio.

Candidates are evaluated based on the six Intelligent Community Indicators, which provide the conceptual framework for understanding all of the factors that determine a community’s competitiveness and point to its success in what the Intelligent Community Forum calls, “The Broadband Economy.” Green-Economy

Each year the Intelligent Community Awards Program has been guided by an annual theme.

The 2016 theme, From Revolution to Renaissance, focuses on the ways cities and towns studied by ICF plan their future at a time when the economy, the environment and the patterns of urban and rural life are undergoing dramatic change.

The Intelligent Community Forum think tank, headquartered in New York, is a global network of 145 counties, cities and towns with a think tank at its heart.

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.

To help cities and towns build prosperous economies, solve social problems and enrich local cultures, the Intelligent Community Forum conducts research, hosts global events, publishes books, and produces its high-profile annual international awards program.

The Forum has two Institutes in North America dedicated to the study of the movement and an affiliate ICF Canada organization.

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Adam Di Marco


This article was recently featured on Adam is also a director of Brisbane-based investment, management and development firm, Marquette Properties.

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