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Smart City Winner: Taichung City, Taiwan

Jay Gillette | June 12, 2013
2013 Intelligent Community Award goes to city offering free broadband, free Wi-Fi hotspots.

Leadership Achievement: A Brave New World Rises on the Regional Horizon
A common theme is appearing on the Intelligent Community radar -- the rise of regions as a catalyst for development rather than countries.

For example, the Intelligent Communities Lifetime Achievement Award, only the third given in the organization's history, went to Dana McDaniel, Deputy City Manager of Dublin, Ohio, a Columbus suburb, and a previous Top 7 Community.

During his long association with the region, McDaniel also serves the Ohio National Guard as a Brigadier General, where he was deployed with his unit into the Middle East. For 20 years, he has been instrumental in leading Dublin and the Columbus region in progressive economic development on a broadband infrastructure basis.

Their approach has culminated in the Columbus metropolitan region becoming Ohio's biggest city, larger today than Cleveland or Cincinnati.

This is a strategic phenomenon that is seizing global attention: Effective change leadership at the regional community level, and the rising power of "Citistates." It is an increasingly attractive business development target that global vendors IBM and Huawei have taken aim at.

With gridlock at the national level worldwide, ambitious leaders, companies, and populations are building a new world on the regional or metroplex horizon.

ICF co-founder Louis Zacharilla said, "The rise of Taichung over the past decade has been a well-planned, unwavering act of collaborative team-building under the vision of a mayor, Jason Hu, who left his post as Taiwan's Foreign Minister and went local.'"

"Mayor Hu was determined to put Taichung in a league with the world's great cities, both economically and culturally" Zacharilla observed. "Taichung and Mayor Hu will be known for having brought to the world's attention a city few heard of, but who are an example of Intelligent Community development for the 21st Century."

Besides Taichung, the complete list of 2013 intelligent city finalists includes:

  • Columbus, Ohio -- United States [third Ohio community in Top 7]
  • Oulu Finland [second time in Top 7]
  • Stratford, Ontario Canada [second time in Top 7]
  • Tallin -- Estonia [fifth time in Top 7]
  • Taoyuan County -- Taiwan
  • Toronto, Ontario -- Canada

The 2014 Intelligent Community of the Year competition opens with nominations in July 2013 with the deadline in fall 2013. Seven new finalists will be announced at the Pacific Telecommunications Council's January 2014 conference in Honolulu. The winner will be named in New York City in spring 2014.


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