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Hamilton Economic Development

Hamilton deemed among top 7 ‘Intelligent communities in the world’

Take a bow, Hamilton.

According to the Intelligent Communities Forum — a U.S.-based think tank that focuses on digital economic development — our city is more “intelligent” than it used to be. Hamilton has been named one of the top seven “Intelligent Communities in The World.”

That compares to the city being ranked 21st in the year 2016-2017.

“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,” the forum says on its website.

“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.”

Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger says, “What it really means is that we are transforming our economy into a digital economy and our organizations into digital organizations.”

In June, the forum will do a second round of analysis — that includes site visits and voting by an international jury — to determine this year’s Intelligent Community of the Year.

Eisenberger says coming out on top would be a great feather in the city’s cap.

He noted Eindhoven in the Netherlands — that was named the world’s most intelligent community of the year in 2011 — has used the honour as leverage to greatly enhance its economic development.

“We’d like to achieve the same and use that as an economic development tool to attract more positive development and digital capacity and more collaboration and partnerships,” said Eisenberger.

The forum cited Eisenberger’s efforts in forming a “Blue Ribbon Task Force on Intelligent Communities” in late 2016 and the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce Digital Hamilton Project as reasons for including the city in the top seven.

“Hamilton’s recognition among the top seven Intelligent Communities is a testament to the impressive collaboration efforts over the last year between the chamber, the City of Hamilton and key stakeholders on the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on Intelligent Communities,” said Keanin Loomis, president and CEO of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce. “An award of this stature will put us on the national and global spotlight, leading to a greater influx of talent and investment into our community.”

The other cities in the top seven include Winnipeg, Man.; Chiayi City, Taiwan; Tainan City; Taiwan; Taoyuan, Taiwan; Espoo, Finland and Ipswich, Australia.

Article courtesy of Mark McNeil, The Hamilton Spectator

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