For the third time in its history, Quebec City has been selected as one of the Smart21 Communities of the Year. This international honour was awarded by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF), an independent New York-based organization dedicated to studying the economic and social aspects of communities using innovative new technologies. The announcement was made by one of the ICF’s co-founders, Louis Zacharilla, at a symposium organized by Walsh University’s Institute for the Study of the Intelligent Community in Ohio. Some 400 applications were received from cities and regions around the world.
Each year, the ICF picks a guiding theme for the Smart21 contest and for the eventual designation of Intelligent Community of the Year. For 2014, the ICF selected the theme of “Community as Canvas”. The organization is promoting this theme with a view to discovering cities and regions that have fostered unique innovation contexts, particularly as regards the contribution of the arts, heritage and culture to community development.
In addition to the theme of culture, the candidate cities and regions were also asked to describe initiatives they have undertaken in the areas of broadband/wireless infrastructure, the knowledge economy, innovation, digital inclusion/entertainment and intelligent community development.
The Smart21 list for 2014 consists of six communities from Canada, four from Australia, four from the US, three from Taiwan and one each from Kenya, Greece, Brazil and New Zealand.
“Recognizing us as one of the Smart21 communities once again confirms our position as a resolutely innovative city that promotes talent, intelligence, creativity and the desire to excel within the entrepreneurial community and among local residents. As a smart community, Quebec City fosters partnerships designed to improve municipal services and reduce costs by creating and stimulating the development of new firms and organizations. Our goal is clear: we want to be selected as the ICF’s Intelligent Community of 2014,” said Quebec City’s mayor, Régis Labeaume.
“This honour is a testament to the Quebec City region’s creativity, spirit of collaboration and desire to excel, not only in the economic and cultural arenas, but also socially. It stands to benefit the entire community since we will be better positioned to promote innovative local initiatives and benchmark them against the very best in the world,” said Carl Viel, president and CEO of Quebec International.
In collaboration with numerous partners, including the City of Quebec and Laval University, Quebec International is in the process of preparing a second application in the hopes that Quebec City can build on its momentum by being selected as one of the seven finalists for Intelligent Community of the Year. The names of the Top 7 will be released in January. The Intelligent Community of 2014 will be announced at the ICF’s annual summit in New York on June 6 following the jury’s visit to the seven finalist cities/regions next spring.
Quebec International contributes to regional economic development and promotes Quebec City’s international standing. As the region’s pre-eminent economic development agency, Quebec International fosters business growth, supports key economic clusters and attracts talent and investment.
In addition to being an innovative capital overflowing with creativity, Quebec City boasts a robust knowledge-based economy, high technology and world-class research. Drawing on a pool of specialized and highly educated workers, Quebec City is investing in a series of transformative projects aimed at propelling it into the ranks of the most competitive places to do business in North America. For further information, please visit ville.quebec.qc.ca/ville_intelligente.