22/10/2013 12:00:00 a.m.
22 October 2013
Whanganui has reached an international benchmark once more by being selected as one of the world’s Smart21 communities.
The Smart21 list, organised by the Intelligent Community Forum, recognises communities around the world which have taken conscious steps to prosper in the broadband economy.
Whanganui has been named one of the Smart21 for two years running and is the only place in New Zealand to make the list.
This year’s Intelligent Communities theme is ‘Community as a Canvas’. It focuses on how art, craft, history, traditions and attitudes contribute to an intelligent community. The Smart21 list for 2014 was selected from nearly 400 entries.
Mayor Annette Main, who chairs the Whanganui Digital Leaders’ Forum, is delighted about the recognition, which again puts the district on the map internationally. She says the award is a continuation of the culture of communication, commerce and creativity which already exists.
“This is fantastic news for us. In 2013 we were recognised for the relationship between innovation and employment. In 2014 we are on the list because our existing cultural foundations and heritage have connected us with the world.
“These connections have laid the groundwork for further connectivity as we move into a digital future through broadband technology. Being on the Smart 21 list for two years in a row means we fit into different aspects of what being an intelligent community means.”
“We have always been known as an innovative community and these awards recognise us for it. Other councils in both New Zealand and Australia are now seeking us out for information about how they too can work towards a connected community. Our goal is now to be named in the Top7.”
The Top7 intelligent communities will be chosen from the 2014 Smart 21 list and announced in January 2014. For more information, please visit www.intelligentcommunity.org.