The 15th annual top seven intelligent communities of the year list announced for 2017 includes communities from four nations, with Australia, Canada and Taiwan each contributing two, and Russia contributing a seventh community in a first-time achievement for that nation.
The list was announced by the Intelligent Community Forum at the recent ‘The Internet of Cities Forum’ in Taipei, Taiwan.
In alphabetical order, they are:
- Chiayi City, Taiwan
- Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
- Grey County, Ontario, Canada
- Ipswich, Queensland, Australia
- Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
- Moscow, Russia
- Taoyuan, Taiwan
The list represents 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.
Chiayi City, Taiwan: Chiayi is a provincial city of 270,000 in southcentral Taiwan, midway between Taichung and Tainan. In 2014, Chiayi was ranked as having the worst air quality in Taiwan. Working with ASUS, the city established a network of cloud-connected air-quality monitoring stations called the Air Box. The results of measurement are displayed in real time on LED billboards on main access roads. The city has also installed solar panels on 38 public buildings, with another 38 planned for 2016, which will return tens of millions of New Taiwan Dollars to the general fund over 20 years as well as reducing fossil-fuel use.
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada: The city of Edmonton lies close to one of the largest oil deposits on Earth, which has created a foundation for prosperity but saddled the community with major challenges as well. The resource boom has swelled Edmonton into the youngest major city in Canada with the most diverse population. It has also created housing shortages, homelessness and a range of social ills. And when oil boom turns to oil bust, the challenges mount higher. To create a new economy on top of the oil-driven present, Edmonton has built the infrastructure of the new century and engaged its institutions in translating that infrastructure into a new source of prosperity.
Grey County, Ontario, Canada: The County of Grey is a rich cultural center of Ontario with a long history of agriculture and bustling water trade. The future looks bright in Grey County as farmers step into the digital world with the help of their technically-skilled neighbors and local youths train to become the next generation of innovators.
Ipswich, Queensland, Australia: Building on its first twenty-year plan, the Ipswich City Council has created its smart city blueprint and implementation plan project. The project has adopted a human-centered design approach, focusing on the needs of citizens, local entrepreneurs, city workers and even tourists. The blueprint has three core goals: jobs, growth, and livability for Ipswich.
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia: Two projects, one in production and the other in development, are equipping Melbourne with new innovation districts. The Advanced Manufacturing Precinct at RMIT, a public research university, creates collaborative projects between researchers and industry, and equips them with technology and equipment to speed up prototyping and design of the manufacturing process. Early results include a 3D printed spine implant and an improved car seat for the Tesla Model S. The Carlton Connect Initiative (CCI) aims to bring together people from diverse disciplines to one precinct, where CCI will create and curate partnerships between research and industry locally, nationally and globally.
Moscow, Russia: Moscow is a city that has taken enormous strides to build a collaborative, knowledge-based economy in a nation better known for top-down leadership, where 80% of exports are of oil, natural gas and other natural resources. The administration has invested large amounts of money and political capital in a vision for Moscow as an attractive location for knowledge-based businesses, a center for learning and a city where government exists to serve the people as efficiently and transparently as possible. Deploying digital technologies to serve those ends, Moscow is turning one of the world’s megacities into an intelligent community.
Taoyuan, Taiwan: Taoyuan aims to establish an Asian Silicon Valley in the Qingpu area of the city. The Taoyuan Aviation City Base has already attracted NTD 500 billion in investments and is expected to generate upwards of 300,000 job opportunities. The city has also partnered with local private companies to establish a series of internet of things (IoT) smart park trial sites in emerging industrial areas to encourage the development of high-tech industries alongside the more traditional manufacturing centers.
Visit the Intelligent Communities Forum to view this year’s and the last 15 years top seven list.
[Image: Montreal, the 2016 intelligent community of the year]