Published On: Wednesday, 01 November 2017
Kelowna Named Among 21 Smartest Cities in the World
KELOWNA - The City of Kelowna is among the 21 smartest cities in the world, based on its approach and investment in technologies to address community goals.
The Intelligent Community Forum’s Smart21 Communities for 2018 puts Kelowna on a list that includes cities in France, Finland, Taiwan and Australia.
The Smart21 represent the best models of economic, social and cultural development in the digital age, in the judgment of ICF and its team of independent analysts.
“Being named a Smart 21 Community is global recognition that the City, its citizens and businesses are all playing a part in moving Kelowna forward as an innovation-based community,” says Mayor Colin Basran. “We look forward to the next phase of the awards program and will use the Smart 21 to continue to market the opportunities that exist in the region for innovators.”
The rankings are based on how cities described their work in six categories – broadband availability, innovation, development of a knowledge workforce, digital equality, sustainability and advocacy.
Among other things, the City’s application focused on its deployment of a dark fibre network, the Climate Action Plan, the Okanagan Centre for Innovation, the Okanagan Young Professionals Collective, the Imagine Kelowna engagement program and the City’s Open Data information on kelowna.ca.
“This year’s list contains more surprises than we have seen in a long time,” says ICF co-founder Louis Zacharilla. “Over half of them are Canadian communities that have been working on their programs for years. We also see Taiwan and Australia continuing to embrace broadband and the ICF Method effectively."
Council’s direction to ensure Kelowna is open for opportunities has fostered and attitude of innovation and partnerships to deliver and expand services provided to businesses and citizens.
The next step in the process for the City of Kelowna is to submit a more detailed description detailing their opportunities, challenges, and results of local innovation. ICF's analysts review the questionnaires and, in February, ICF names the Top7 Intelligent Communities of the Year.
The Intelligent Community of the Year will be named on June 7 during an Awards Dinner at the ICF Global Summit in London.
The Intelligent Community Forum is a global movement of more than 160 cities, metro regions and counties with a think tank at its heart. ICF studies and promotes the best practices of the world's Intelligent Communities as they adapt to the new demands and seize the opportunities presented by information and communications technology.