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Canada’s got some of the smartest cities (8 Photos)
On top of all the other things we are proud of in Canada, we can add another thing to the list; we’ve got 3 cities recognized by the
Intelligent Community Forum as being the smartest cities in the world for 2016.
The Intelligent Community Forum is a New York City based non-profit think tank that has spent the past year evaluating cities across the world, based on a set of criteria, including having broadband, knowledge workforce, innovation, digital equality, sustainability & advocacy. Based on how well cities meet and embody those elements, puts them on the list.
Not to brag, but 3 Canadian cities is a pretty big deal.
Hsinchu County, Taiwan
Hsinchu’s way on this list was building a science park to create a domestic tech industry, now employing thousands and generating billions. They’ve also extended fibre optic internet and 4G service to over 97% of the population, promoting e-learning, as well as offering residents a smart card that allows them to ride the bus, pay parking fees, borrow library books and get discounts.
They use the information gathered by each card to adjust services based on usage such as altering bus schedules and watching traffic patterns.
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
In the 1980’s, Montreal started transitioning their industry to ICT, Aerospace, clean technologies, life sciences and health tech.
They’ve also rolled out a Smart City plan, unfurling a broadband internet system across the city, as well as offering WiFi coverage, with an 81% penetration rate of internet users.
Montreal also graduates the largest amount of higher education graduates than any other Canadian city, and has a strong set up for tech incubators, accelerators and small businesses.
Muelheim an der Ruhr, Germany
Muelheim an der Ruhr transformed itself from a coal and steel town to a trading and tech hub over the last 30 years, building innovation parks, one of the largest shopping malls in Europe and putting a focus on technical and e-colleges, as well as focusing on bringing down carbon emissions in the area.
They’ve also put a focus on the youth and less advantaged helping them with job searches, skills development, and apprenticeships, creating a youth unemployment rate of only 4.5% – 40% lower than the national average.
New Taipei City, Taiwan
New Taipei city is a relatively new city, and they’ve put their focus on efficient transportation in roads and rails, as well as into their broadband. With 91% household penetration, they’ve put tablets into schools, offered tech training to teachers and also for those on the wrong side of the digital divide, offer training classes and mobile-public computers.
Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
Surrey is one of Canada’s fastest growing cities, moving from a suburban to an urban infrastructure, but in an eco-conscious way. They’re tackling climate change and emissions head on, as well as looking at ways to effectively minimize waste.
They’ve got an app that offers citizens a way to give feedback, training programs for those not digitally savvy and and poverty reduction plan.
From an infrastructure perspective, they’ve built and Innovation Boulevard, with universities, businesses, health technologies and innovation hubs are built in clusters that are walkable or connected by light rail.
Whanganui, New Zealand
Whanganui used to be one of the poorest districts of New Zealand. After the railways dried up and one of the last areas of NZ to get broadband, they’ve taken matters into their own hands by building their own, locally-owned Fibre optic networks that are enticing businesses to reopen in the district. They’re also ensuring that it’s not just the urban areas, but the rural areas have access to the internet and training.
They’re also looking to expand their university and entice tech startups to build and thrive in their community.
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Winnipeg is focussed on bringing partnerships between large companies and future innovators and students at the University of Winnipeg together to help generate jobs, and provide on the job training. Winnipeg is also leading the country with their focus on sustainable composite manufacturing by researching how agricultural products like hemp and flax can be transformed into composite materials. Boeing and Magellan Aerospace are deeply invested in the project.
As well, Winnipeg is building infrastructure with the Digital Voices Project, offering Aboriginal youth with a voice as well as digital training, access and e-learning.
The Intelligent Community Forum will be announcing the winner of the Worlds Smartest City in June.
Intelligent Community Forum