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20 October 2016
Whanganui is again at the leading edge of the digital world, having been named one of the 21 Intelligent Communities for the fifth consecutive year, Mayor Hamish McDouall said today.
Whanganui was announced as a Smart21 Intelligent Community for 2017 by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF), an international think-tank which helps communities adapt to the demands of the broadband economy.
“It is outstanding that Whanganui has made the Smart21 for five years in a row and is still the only New Zealand city that has received the accolade,” Mayor McDouall said.
“We have continued to build on our past performances in the awards, with Whanganui reaching the Top7 global communities for the first time last year.
“We are being recognised alongside much larger communities which are also working to improve the quality of lives in their areas through the use of broadband and technology. It is about ensuring we have the right services and infrastructure in place to ensure Whanganui can connect with the world, improving business opportunities, education, health services and developing a knowledge workforce where everyone is confidently using digital technology.
“Whanganui’s repeated success in the awards is the result of a lot of hard work behind the scenes. This ranking is a tribute to former Mayor Annette Main’s commitment and contribution to the development of our broadband economy and the role she has played in putting Whanganui on the international stage through the Intelligent Community awards.”
The theme for 2017 is “The Internet of Cities”, described by ICF as “an up-close and provocative look at how information and communications technology (ICT) challenges every city, region and town to outperform its past”.
The Smart21 communities were selected from a group of nearly 400 entries. The Smart21 are now in contention for the prestigious designation of an Intelligent Community Top7, to be named in Taipei, Taiwan, in February 2017. One of the seven will then be named Intelligent Community of the Year at the Intelligent Community Summit and Awards Dinner in New York in June 2017.ICF says: “This year’s list, chosen by a group of analysts led by former Cisco executive and Westchester County (New York) CIO, Dr. Norman Jacknis, is an eclectic group, according to ICF and includes seven communities from Canada, five from Taiwan and four from Australia, three nations that have strong national commitments to both ‘smart city’ development and the Intelligent Community movement. In what will be a surprise to many, Moscow was also named to the list.”
The other Smart21 communities for 2017 are:
Astana (Kazakhstan), Chiayi City (Taiwan), Edmonton (Alberta, Canada), Grey County (Ontario, Canada), Ipswich (Queensland, Australia), Keelung City (Taiwan), Knowle West (Bristol, United Kingdom), Melbourne (Victoria, Australia), Moscow (Russia), Nelson (British Columbia, Canada), New Westminster (British Columbia, Canada), Ottawa (Ontario, Canada), Pickering (Ontario, Canada), Prospect (South Australia), Rochester (New York, USA), Sarnia-Lambton (Ontario, Canada), Sunshine Coast (Queensland, Australia), Tainan City (Taiwan), Taoyuan (Taiwan), Yilan County (Taiwan).