Kingston has been named as one of the top seven most intelligent communities in the world by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) based out of New York City.
“This is a tremendous recognition for Kingston,” said Mayor Mark Gerretsen. “To be selected as a Top 7 intelligent community out of 400 globally speaks to our leadership in economic competitiveness, creating new opportunities and efficiencies through emerging technologies, and raising the quality of life standard for our residents.”
“This is an honour for the whole community. It acknowledges that Kingston is making wise use of technology – such as fibre optics and wireless – to become more sustainable, build our innovation economy and connect our community locally, nationally and internationally,” says Jim Keech, President and C.E.O. of Utilities Kingston, responsible for much of the infrastructure on which this technology relies. More than 90 per cent of Kingstonians now subscribe to broadband communications for Internet access.
Utilities Kingston partnered with the City of Kingston, Kingston Economic Development Corporation and Sustainable Kingston to submit this year’s application.
In its announcement, the ICF’s co-founder, Lou Zacharilla, said Kingston, “leveraged its educational institutions to build an innovation economy focused on environmental sustainability.”
“The ICF specifically noted a number of local efforts whose innovative approaches are helping to intelligently build our economic capabilities and enrich our way of life,” says Jeff Garrah, C.E.O. of Kingston Economic Development Corporation.
The ICF cited Sustainable Kingston, Queen’s University, Innovation Park, and PARTEQ Innovations, St. Lawrence College as well as Green Centre Canada, Fuel Cell Research Centre, the High-Performance Virtual Computing Lab and the City’s Culture Plan.
Seven communities made the cut from the ICF’s “Top 21” to its “Top 7.” Competing with Kingston for the top spot (to be announced in New York in June), are:
- Arlington County, Virginia, USA, which is building its own fibre network to boost broadband service and re-energize government-business-university collaboration
- Columbus, Ohio, USA, which in its recovery from the 2008 recession has 20,000 more jobs than it did at its last economic peak in 2007
- Hsinchu City, Taiwan, the first city in Taiwan to implement e-learning platforms for its students and establish a science park
- New Taipei City, Taiwan, a new city forged from communities surrounding the nation’s capital, which is creating a unified and dynamic knowledge economy
- Toronto, Ontario, Canada, with a renowned waterfront development that will provide Internet at 500 times the speed of conventional residential networks
- Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, where reinvention of its agricultural legacy is creating strong growth while preserving a valued heritage
Last year, Kingston was named a Top 21 Intelligent Community. Taichung City, Taiwan was named the Intelligent Community of the Year.
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