Winnipeg Once Again Named One of the Top 21 "Smart Cities" in Global Competition
October 23, 2013: Winnipeg, MB – For the fourth year in a row, Winnipeg has earned a coveted spot on the Intelligent Community Forum’s (ICF) list of Smart21 Communities. The 21 diverse communities honoured include 10 from North America, four from Australia, three from Taiwan and one each from Kenya, Greece, Brazil and New Zealand. Winnipeg joins five other Canadian jurisdictions to have been awarded this designation, including Kingston, Montreal, Parkland County, Quebec City and Toronto. Just 126 communities around the world have been designated by the ICF as an ‘Intelligent Community’ in the 16-year history of the competition.
The Smart21 announcement is the first stage of ICF's annual Intelligent Community Awards cycle, which is followed by the naming of the Top Seven Intelligent Communities of the Year (selected from among the 21). The awards program salutes the accomplishments of communities in developing inclusive prosperity built on a foundation of information and communications technology. Each year, a theme is chosen that relates to this overall objective. This year’s theme asked applicants to consider the power of culture in the emergence of intelligent communities.
“Winnipeg’s selection as a Smart21 Community of 2014 is particularly gratifying given this year’s emphasis on culture,” said Marina R. James, president and CEO of Economic Development Winnipeg Inc. “We’re rightly recognized as the cultural cradle of Canada, an inheritance from our city’s founders that continues to define Winnipeg as a place and a people, thanks to the ongoing collaborative efforts of our public- and private-sector institutions and advocates. The fact that the Intelligent Community Forum has bestowed this honour on our city for four straight years is further evidence that Winnipeg’s diverse cultural identity regularly coalesces in ways that promote prosperity for all our citizens, which in turn allows us to remain innovative and competitive on a global scale.”
Intelligent communities represent models of economic and social transformation. They are not necessarily the world’s most advanced technology centres, the most wired cities or the fastest-growing economies. Instead, intelligent communities embrace best practices in broadband deployment and use, workforce development, innovation, digital inclusion and advocacy in ways that offer inspiration to other jurisdictions around the world. ICF’s designated adjudication committee considers these key indicators—and how they are weaved together in addressing the annual theme—to determine which communities merit recognition as a Smart21 Community. This year’s honourees range in size from 15,000 people in Mitchell, USA, to more than six million in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Winnipeg’s submission showcased the city’s cultural landscape in three complementary capacities: culture as art and craftwork, culture as heritage and culture as attitude. Featured narratives described the Exchange District, one of Winnipeg’s most notable historical landmarks; how the city’s aboriginal communities embrace their cultural tradition of storytelling, which has found a modern-day equivalent in the form of the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network; and the way artistic expression seems to be ingrained in all aspects of Winnipeggers’ lives, which gives rise to the inherent virtues that make us distinctive, compelling and competitive. Supporting examples that figured prominently in shaping the overall submission included explanations of the Composites Innovation Centre, the Cisco Innovation Centre for Collaboration Technologies at the University of Winnipeg and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.
About Economic Development Winnipeg Inc.
Economic Development Winnipeg Inc. (EDW) is the lead economic development agency for Winnipeg. EDW facilitates investment promotion and attraction, capacity building, tourism development, marketing and the management of market information. By applying competitive intelligence and by fostering relationships with industry leaders, government officials and community stakeholders, potential opportunities and innovation drivers are evaluated to develop key industries and define future economic growth. EDW supports targeted sector development and promotes Winnipeg’s diverse economy and high quality of life.
EDW leads global investment attraction, and local business retention and expansion, with its YES! Winnipeg initiative. YES! Winnipeg’s business development team assists in the creation and retention of jobs, identifies opportunities that attract new investment, focuses on expansion and helps local entrepreneurs launch new commercial ventures.
Tourism Winnipeg is the city’s official destination marketing organization tasked with increasing visitation and delivering the best possible visitor experience. A division of Economic Development Winnipeg Inc., Tourism Winnipeg’s mission is to facilitate a healthy, prosperous, responsible and fully integrated tourism industry that enhances Winnipeg’s economic growth through the acquisition of meetings, conventions, sports and events, group travel and leisure tourism. www.economicdevelopmentwinnipeg.com
About the Intelligent Community Forum
The Intelligent Community Forum studies and promotes the best practices of the world's intelligent communities as they adapt to the demands and seize the opportunities presented by information and communications technology. To help communities build prosperous economies, solve social problems and enrich local cultures, the Intelligent Community Forum conducts research, hosts events, publishes newsletters and books, and produces its high-profile international awards program.
Over more than a decade, the Intelligent Community Forum has become an international movement that attracts the attention of global leaders, thinkers and media observers. The Intelligent Community Foundation consists of 126 cities and regions that have been designated as ‘Intelligent Communities’ and which participate in an ongoing global dialogue to strengthen local economies. www.intelligentcommunity.org
For further information, please contact:
Manager, Marketing & Communications
Economic Development Winnipeg Inc.
Phone: 204.954.1961 Cell: 204.898.4866
Senior Communications Specialist
market2world communications inc.
Co-Founder, Intelligent Community Forum
Phone: 212.249.0624 Cell 917.715.0711