Durham among Top7 Intelligent Communities worldwide for second straight year

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Published June 21, 2023 at 2:41 pm

Durham Region is one of the seven most intelligent communities in the world for the second year running and the only Canadian community on the list.

The distinction comes from the Intelligent Community Forum, an international think tank. The Forum decided on which communities make the list based on a complex survey analyzed by a panel of technical experts.

The top contenders are listed in the fall as the Top21, and a Top7 is announced the following summer. These seven finalists then compete to be the number one Intelligent Community in the world. This year Durham Region hosted the conference during which the finalist honourees were announced.

The Region was awarded based on numerous factors not least of which include the Regional Broadband Project, which has developed a 700-kilometre network of internet infrastructure to connect its rural northern communities.

The forum also noted projects to send financial aid to post-secondary students and train seniors to use technology. The Region itself credited a slew of projects for the distinction including; the City Studio development initiative, the Greener Homes energy retrofit program, the YourDurham civic engagement platform and the Durham311 voice service project.

These achievements Durham on a global stage beside communities from Australia, Brazil, the United States, and Vietnam. Durham, Vietnam’s Binh Duong Smart City, Brazil’s Curitiba and Australia’s Sunshine Coast return to the list from 2022. They are joined by Coral Gables in Florida, Hilliard in Ohio and Greater Geelong in Australia.

While Durham is the only Canadian community on the 2023 list, nearly 40 Canadian communities have been on the list before. Mississauga, Hamilton, Markham, Kingston, Toronto, Quebec City, Fredericton, St. John, Winnipeg, and Edmonton have all been honoured in the past.

“An intelligent community addresses the needs of its citizens. In Durham Region, we’re creating the next generation of innovative thinkers and problem solvers by focusing on our residents and improving the citizen experience. Through our intelligent initiatives and our innovation community, Durham is bringing forth transformative smart projects, electric and green technologies, and diverse leaders—that’s why we continue to be one of the best places in the world to live, work and invest,” said Regional Chair John Henry.

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