Taichung City named one of Top7 intelligent communities in the world
Intelligent Community Forum names the world’s Top7 Intelligent Communities, all with a track record of new jobs and innovative development
Honolulu, Hawaii & New York, New York – January 23, 2013 – The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) today named the 2013 Top7 Intelligent Communities of the Year. The Top7 list includes three from North America, two from Taiwan and two from Europe. “The Top7 communities of 2013 have made innovation – based on information and communications technology –the cornerstone of their economies and fostered economic growth through high-quality employment, while increasing the quality of life of their citizens,” said Lou Zacharilla, ICF co-founder in announcing the list at the Pacific Telecommunications Council’s annual conference (PTC’13) in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.
The ICF 2013 Top7 are:
* Columbus, USA
* Oulu, Finland
* Stratford, Canada
* Taichung City, Taiwan
* Tallinn, Estonia
* Taoyuan County, Taiwan
* Toronto, Canada
Economic uncertainty tops the list of concerns for many global communities, The International Labour Organization notes in a January 2013 report that global unemployment was on the rise again in 2012 and forecast it will likely continue to rise in 2013 through to 2017. The Top7 demonstrate what can be accomplished by embracing information and communications technology to power growth, address social challenges and preserve and promote culture.
Among Top7 accomplishments: Columbus created 29,000 new jobs in the last two years, while Oulu created 18,000 new technology jobs in the last five years. Taichung City uses ICT to help farmers boost yields and the city’s shared cloud-based system enables small firms to reduce production costs and time to market. Tallinn has expanded an industrial park by 50 per cent to 250 companies – making it the largest knowledge-based development in the Baltic region. Toronto has the largest urban renewal project currently in development in North America: Waterfront Toronto. This new community will provide Internet at 500 times the speed of conventional residential networks, a foundation that will propel Toronto to the upper levels of intelligent communities.
In a more detailed report about Taichung, ICF says the following:
Taichung City, Taiwan. When the city and county of Taichung merged in 2010, a huge metropolis uniting completely different economies was created. The united Taichung included a major seaport city, where 70 per cent of employees work in services, and a rural county, where only 50 per cent work in industry, and agriculture is a significant source of income. Yet, the city’s leadership, under Mayor Chih-Chiang (Jason) Hu, was determined to create a whole much greater than the sum of its parts. The city and telecom companies partnered to create thousands of WiFi hotspots, fiber-based broadband and 4G WiMAX now reaching more than 90 per cent of the population. Through imaginative applications developed by public-private partnership, ICT has become a driver of greater global competitiveness. The backbone of Taichung’s manufacturing economy is a network of 1,500 precision machinery makers and tens of thousands of SME suppliers. Smaller companies now benefit from a shared, cloud-based ERP system that reduces purchasing costs and time-to-market. An RFID system at the port automates the clearing of shipping containers for exit, slashing the time trucks spend idling at the gate. Taichung is also helping farmers apply ICT to improve yields and profitability, while expanding international markets. To power this new economy, the city and its 17 colleges have created a truly lifelong learning system ranging from basic digital education and vocational training to advanced study and continuous skills improvement. Taichung is aggressively pursuing industrial clustering through development of the Central Taiwan Technology Corridor, which combines science parks, precision manufacturing parks and software parks to give physical shape to its global ambitions.
Profiles of the Top7 are available in the Awards section of the ICF Web site http://www.intelligentcommunity.org/
About Intelligent Community Forum
The Intelligent Community Forum seeks to share the best practices of the world's Intelligent Communities in adapting to the demands of what it calls “the Broadband Economy” by conducting research, hosting events, publishing books and newsletters and producing its high profile international awards program. ICF’s mission to make “place” align with prosperity has drawn the attention of global leaders and thinkers everywhere. The ICF Foundation consists of over 100 communities, cities and regions that have been globally designated as Intelligent Communities and which participate in an ongoing dialogue to strengthen local economies. For more information, go to http://www.intelligentcommunity.org