That you don't have to be big to be smart about making best use of digital technology seems to be the message in Google Australia's latest eTown rankings. While that may take some by surprise, regular visitors to our site won't be. We've featured how smaller cities can be smart cities too and noted how places like tiny Feldheim, Germany and Chattanooga, Tennessee are smart city superstars. If you are a big city, there may be a wake-up call in the story below.
A Smart Company report on Google Australia's annual eTown awards has big population centers and cities with the largest central business districts trumped by smaller cities and suburbs.
According to the report, the winners tended to have local councils and businesses that made a concerted effort to compete using online tools available to them. “Many of the winning towns and cities had a council that was very active in education – in helping people understand the digital opportunities," Google's Claire Hatton told Smart Company.
Mayor Amanda Stevens of Port Phillip, one of the eTown winners, indicated she wasn't surprised her town was recognized. She told Smart Company: “The City of Port Phillip has run extensive business development programs and launched an online portal to support local businesses to grow. We also know from our research that businesses are most interested in training in marketing and having an online presence, so we also hold regular events with digital innovation thought-leaders to bring that knowledge to the area."
The Australia state-by-state eTown winners are:
- Cockburn, WA
- Darwin, NT
- Port Phillip, VIC
- Holdfast Bay, SA
- Launceston, Tasmania
- North Sydney, NSW
- South Canberra, ACT
- Sunshine Coast, Qld
Google Australia uses internal data and a survey it commissions to arrive at the winners.
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