York Region Named One of the Top 10 Intelligent Communities in the World

The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) named The Regional Municipality of York as one of the Top 10 Intelligent Communities in the World, with a population over 1 Million.

York Region is one of four Canadian jurisdictions on the list.  Montreal, Toronto and Calgary are also recognized amongst other international cities: Melbourne, Australia, and Rio de Janerio. Visit the link for the full list.

York Region has been actively engaged with the ICF since 2015. In 2016 the Region enrolled in the ICF Intelligent Community Accelerator Program, which included the collection of information on initiatives led by the Region and its nine local cities and towns.

These initiatives each fall under one of the following six Intelligent Community Indicators:

  • Broadband
  • Innovation
  • Knowledge Workforce
  • Digital Equality
  • Sustainability
  • Advocacy

On Thursday, November 8, 2018 the Regional Municipality of York will host The 2018 York Region Broadband and Innovation Summit.

The theme of this year’s summit is York Region as a Knowledge Workforce Hub. A “Knowledge Workforce,” as defined by the Intelligent Community Forum, is a labour force that creates economic value through its knowledge, skills and ability to use information effectively.

Success in the Broadband Economy requires the ability to create a workforce qualified to perform knowledge work from the factory floor to the research lab, and from the construction site to the call centre.

Intelligent Communities are those which have come to understand the enormous challenges of the Broadband Economy, and have taken conscious steps to create an economy capable of prospering in it.  They find vision-driven, community-based, technology smart solutions to address their most urgent problems, and York Region is proud of this work.

In 2017, York Region participated in the ICF Awards Program for 2018 and, out of a field of more than 400 applicants, was designated one of the Smart21 Intelligent Communities of the Year on its first attempt.

Applicants for this award are instructed to share information on a variety of projects and ongoing initiatives and are evaluated by how well these initiatives address each of the six Intelligent Community Indicators.

Many of the initiatives included in the York Region application were led by Regional staff, such as: the founding of YorkNet and the establishment of the NewMakeIt Digital Innovation Hub.  Others were led by local municipalities, including: various Small Cell Technology pilot projects and the ability for rural residents to sign-out high-speed internet modems from their local public libraries.

York Region will continue its involvement with the ICF, as it has been an excellent resource for connecting with public and private sector experts and potential partners around the globe.

Some of those partners include Harvard University’s Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard (TECH) Smart City Accelerator group. This group enables the sharing of strategies and tactics for using technologies to improve the quality-of-life of residents and enabling businesses to thrive.

The ultimate goal of these Intelligent Community efforts is to ensure York Region and its local cities and towns are amongst the most desirable locations in the world to live and work.

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