Every year since 1999, the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) think-tank announces which world city it deems most intelligent after a year-long evaluation that includes a quantitative analysis of extensive data, site inspections by the Intelligent Community Forum and votes from an international jury made up of experts from around the world.
This year Columbus, Ohio claimed the top spot.
"After three years in the Top7," said ICF co-founder Lou Zacharilla, "Columbus clearly demonstrated that planning and performance have made it a place with ‘an inner go.’ It is a revolutionary community in the truest sense."
Toronto was the 2014 winner.
ICF praised Columbus for programs such as TechColumbus, the cultural revitalization of the East Franklinton neighborhood, initiatives to make higher education more accessible for low income residents and for its regional approach to economic development with surrounding communities.
"This is an incredible community award and I want to thank every resident, entrepreneur, small and big business because they have all contributed and should be proud of this accomplishment," said Mayor Michael B. Coleman. "We’d like to thank our public partners in this effort, The Ohio State University and the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, and our private partner, Cisco Systems, for their important work in this effort."
These are the communities Columbus beat out to take the top spot:
- Arlington County, Virginia
- Ipswich, Queensland
- Mitchell, South Dakota
- New Taipei City
- Rio de Janeiro
- Surrey, British Columbia
During the ICF awards event, Dr. Chih-Chiang (Jason) Hu, currently Vice Chairman of the Want Want Group and a former three-term mayor of the city of Taichung, received the organization's 2015 Visionary of the Year Award.