June 8, 2012 By Matt Williams
The second time was the charm for Riverside, Calif., on Friday, June 8, when the city was named the world’s Intelligent Community of the Year for 2012 at a ceremony in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Riverside broke through after being a Top Seven Intelligent Communities finalist in 2011 for the annual award from the Intelligent Community Forum, a think tank that studies IT’s contribution to economic development.
[Editor’s Note: The Intelligent Community Forum is a blog contributor to Digital Communities, a sister website of Government Technology.]
Mayor Ron Loveridge, city CIO Steve Reneker and Assistant City Manager Deanna Lorson were in attendance to accept the award, given for the first time to a U.S. community.
The Top Seven finalists for 2012 were Austin, Texas; Oulu, Finland; Quebec City, Quebec; Saint John, New Brunswick; Stratford, Ontario; and Taichung City, Taiwan.
Riverside succeeds 2011 winner Eindhoven, Netherlands.
The Southern California community was recognized for its fiber network, digital inclusion efforts, technology incubation, IT recycling and several other projects.
The Intelligent Community of the Year is determined based upon a metrics-based scoring process developed and administered by a team of professors in the U.S., Canada and Japan. The field is winnowed from hundreds, to 21, and then to seven. The winner is determined through further numerical analysis, and site visits and field reporting from Intelligent Community Forum officials.
Government Technology profiled Riverside, Calif., in its June 2012 issue. [Read more about the city’s innovative and ambitious technology initiatives in our story.]
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.