A city in the GTA has been named among the smartest communities in the world.
The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) recently named its Top7 Intelligent Communities of 2021. The ICF is a global think tank network that connects hundreds of cities and regions for collaboration on economic development and information.
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“The Top7 represent models of economic and social transformation in the 21st century,” the Forum says. “They are not the most advanced technology centres, the most wired cities, or the fastest growing economies in the world.”
“Instead, each exemplifies best practices in broadband deployment and use, workforce development, innovation, digital inclusion, and advocacy that offers lessons to regions, cities, towns, and villages around the world.”
In order to be chosen, each community completes a detailed questionnaire based on community indicators and an annual theme. A team of academic analysts then reviews the questionnaires from each city or community, then scores them and produces a ranking of all candidates. The seven highest-ranking candidates are then placed on the shortlist.
This year, Mississauga cracked the ICF’s Top7 of 2021 due to its standing as a business and technology centre.
“That has made it an attractive market for [internet service providers]. The city encourages expansion with a streamlined online system for the trenching and installation permits that ISPs need.”
Some examples of this were using a cloud-based system to provide cities with easier access to the government, as well as a Digital Main Street program that helps small businesses create an online presence.
ICF also noted the city’s Building Skilled Talent Together program, which provides training for secondary and post-secondary students, specifically in-demand skills by local employers.
Mississauga is one of three Canadian finalists, with Winnipeg, Manitoba, and Langley, British Columbia cracking the list.
The ICF’s Top7 of 2021 are as follows, in alphabetical order:
- Binh Duong Smart City, Vietnam
- Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil
- Langley Township, British Columbia, Canada
- Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
- Moscow, Russia
- Townsville, Queensland, Australia
- Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada