Toronto has been named the Intelligent Community of 2014 by the Intelligent Community Forum, a New York-based independent think tank that studies and promotes the best practices of intelligent community building worldwide. The announcement was made last night at the awards ceremony of the organization’s annual summit in New York City. It marks the first time that a Canadian city took the title since 2007, when Waterloo was the winner.
The Intelligent Community award is given to the city that most creates an economy that excels with technology, arts and culture. This is based on the following 5 critical indicators:
Accepting the award for Toronto, in place of the unavailable Mayor Rob Ford, were city councillors Ann Bailao and Michael Thompson, as well as Waterfront Toronto CEO John Campbell.
“Toronto deserved and earned it this year,” said co-founder Lou Zacharilla. “We saw in Toronto a city that outperformed all of our 5 indicators. The city is a factory for producing knowledge and startup companies.”
Zacharilla went on to praise Waterfront Toronto’s approach to developing the Toronto lakeshore, and sees it as a new innovation of real estate development. “In most cities, such waterfront developments become home solely to the wealthy, but Toronto is trying to build an economically and cultural diverse neighbourhood by the lake.”
Despite the city’s well publicized poor political leadership, Toronto proved that its economy and sense of community are resilient. “Toronto offered a model that in a democracy, an intelligent community can move forward despite its leaders,” explains Zacharilla. “It’s a message to send to every community on earth.”
The decision was made by 200 jurists from around the world.
How did other Canadian cities do?
Montréal, Québec City, and Parkland County, Alberta made the top 21.
The top 7 selection featured Kingston, Winnipeg and Toronto.