Many cities like to boast that they are the most innovative and cosmopolitan.
But now there’s an official list which proves which are the most intelligent cities – and could leave bigger rivals seething with envy.
The Intelligent Community Forum has compiled a list of its top seven most intelligent cities after a raft of hopeful cities entered the competition – and leading the way are Canada and Taiwan who have two cities each nominated.
Stratford in Ontario has is in the running to be given the prestigious title of most intelligent community
ICF founder Robert Bell said that more than 400 cities around the world vie for the title given by the think tank, which studies the economic and social development of the 21st century community.
A panel of academic leaders select about two dozen and inspect them until eventually the final seven are announced, NBC said.
Each community is subjected to a rigorous process – such as an inspection of how their local government works to what is taught in universities – before the smartest city is found.
They have to prove that they can help educate their citizens and encourage them to prosper.
The current list are:
- Columbus, Ohio, United States
- Oulu, Finland
- Stratford, Ontario, Canada
- Taichung City, Taiwan
- Tallinn, Estonia
- Taoyuan County, Taiwan
- Toronto, Ontario, Canada
The ICF said: ‘Intelligent Communities are those which have – whether through crisis or foresight – come to understand the enormous challenges of the Broadband Economy, and have taken conscious steps to create an economy capable of prospering in it.
‘They are not necessarily big cities or famous technology hubs.
‘They are located in developing nations as well as industrialized ones, suburbs as well as cities, the hinterland as well as the coast.’
Last year’s winner was Riverside, California which was presented with the title of Intelligent Community of the Year.
Mr Bell has so far visited Columbus’ Battelle, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, The Ohio State University, the OSU Super Computer, the Columbus Metropolitan Library and TechColumbus as he seeks to find the most intelligent community.
Hopeful entrants have to prove that they were innovative in encouraging businesses and offering capital to new ventures.
They had to show citizens had a strong education and access to further learning.
Cities had to provide comprehensive and good broadband connectivity to households and could market their community as successful.
The panel looked for strong leadership within the area, proof that the success of the community could be sustained and have strong collaboration, where everyone worked together to improve themselves.
It finally had to proof that it was ‘digitally inclusive’ by offering public computers to its citizens and providing digital literacy courses for residents.
The Intelligent Community Forum explained how it compiled its list by examining entrants answers and then shaving the list down until it reached its last few finalists.
It said: The Top seven represent models of economic and social transformation in the 21st Century.
‘They are not the most advanced technology centers, the most wired cities or the fastest growing economies in the world.
‘Instead, each exemplifies best practices in broadband deployment and use, workforce development, innovation, digital inclusion and advocacy that offer lessons to regions, cities, towns and villages around the world.
‘They are charting new paths to lasting prosperity for their citizens, businesses and institutions.’