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By Robert Bell, John Jung, Louis Zacharilla: Intelligent Communities are those which have - whether through crisis or foresight - 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 are not necessarily big cities or famous technology hubs. They are located in developing nations as well as industrialized ones, suburbs as well as cities, the hinterland as well as the coast.

Celebrating 120 (and growing) Intelligent Communities around the World

October 21, 2013 By

As we look forward to announcing the next Smart21 cities on October 21 from around the world in Canton Ohio at the ICF Institute at Walsh University, let’s celebrate all 120 Intelligent Communities that we have recognized globally since 1999. Every corner of the globe is represented and nearly every culture, whether Asian, Middle East, African, Oceania, Europeans as well as from the Americas. We have the far flung north represented by Oulu, Finland and Nunavut, Canada; the exotic in Pirai, Brazil; and the world’s biggest in Chongqing, China.

What cities, towns and regions have been represented over these years? Click here to see the list; and if you are among these wonderful Intelligent Communities - congratulations, you live in (and can boast that you do) an Intelligent Community! If not, and would like to share with the rest of the world the wonderful and intelligent community that you live in, you are encouraged to apply to be recognized as a Smart21 Intelligent Community next year.

Our list of intelligent communities is a list of super towns, cities and regions - highly innovative, with ecosystems that help to ensure that they will do better than most in economic downturns and communities that site selectors and investors are likely to look to first as being excellent choices to locate a business or to invest in. I look forward to the next batch of Smart21 Intelligent Communities being announced tonight and will gladly invite them to join the Intelligent Community Forum Foundation (ICFF), the association of Intelligent Communities. Only communities that have met ICF’s criteria and have at least made the Smart21 list, are eligible to join the ICFF.


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Intelligent Communities

About the Intelligent Community Forum
The Intelligent Community Forum is a think tank that studies the economic and social development of the 21st Century community. Whether in industrialized or developing nations, communities are challenged to create prosperity, stability and cultural meaning in a world where jobs, investment and knowledge increasingly depend on advances in communications. For the 21st Century community, connectivity is a double-edge sword: threatening established ways of life on the one hand, and offering powerful new tools to build prosperous, inclusive and sustainable economies on the other. ICF seeks to share the best practices of the world's Intelligent Communities in adapting to the demands of the Broadband Economy, in order to help communities everywhere find sustainable renewal and growth. More information can be found at

Robert Bell
Robert Bell is co-founder of the Intelligent Community Forum, where he heads its research and content development activities. He is the author of ICF's pioneering study, Benchmarking the Intelligent Community, the annual Top Seven Intelligent Communities of the Year white papers and other research reports issued by the Forum, and of Broadband Economies: Creating the Community of the 21st Century. Mr. Bell has also authored articles in The Municipal Journal of Telecommunications Policy, IEDC Journal, Telecommunications, Asia-Pacific Satellite and Asian Communications; and has appeared in segments of ABC World News and The Discovery Channel. A frequent keynote speaker and moderator at municipal and telecom industry events, he has also led economic development missions and study tours to cities in Asia and the US.

John Jung
ICF co-founder John G. Jung originated the Intelligent Community concept and continues to serve as the Forum's leading visionary. Formerly President and CEO of the Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance and Calgary Economic Development Authority, he is a registered professional urban planner, urban designer and economic developer. He leads regular international business missions to US, European, Asian, Indian and Australian cities, and originated the ICF Immersion Lab program. John is a regular speaker at universities and conferences and serves as an advisor to regional and national leaders on Intelligent Community development. The author of numerous articles in planning and economic development journals, he has received global and Toronto-based awards for his work in collaboration and strategic development and sits on numerous task forces and international advisory boards.

Louis Zacharilla
ICF co-founder Louis Zacharilla is the creator and presenter of the annual Smart21, Top Seven and Intelligent Community Awards and oversees ICF's media communications and development programs. He is a frequent keynote and motivational speaker and panelist, addressing audiences of tech, academic and community leaders around the world, and writes extensively for publications including American City & County, Continental Airline's in-flight magazine and Municipal World. His frequent appearances in the electronic media have included both television and radio in South Korea, China and Canada. He has served as an adjunct professor at Fordham University in New York and is a Guest Lecturer at Polytechnic University's Distinguished Speaker Series. He holds a Masters Degree from the University of Notre Dame.