Winnipeg has been named one of the top seven intelligent communities in the world by the Intelligent Communities Forum (ICF).
The prestigious recognition is the second stage of the ICF awards cycle after Winnipeg was included in the Smart 21 cities in October.
The awards program salutes the accomplishments of communities in developing inclusive prosperity built on a foundation of information and communications technology. This year’s theme asked applicants to consider the power of culture in the emergence of intelligent communities.
The ICF’s described Winnipeg’s achievements this way: "the reinvention of its agricultural legacy is creating strong growth while preserving a valued heritage."
The judging panel highlighted how the city’s aboriginal communities embrace their cultural tradition of storytelling taking modern-day form with the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network and the Digital Voices Project; how the Composites Innovation Centre has developed high-performance composites based on agricultural materials like hemp and flax, which reduces costs for employers like Boeing and Magellan Aerospace; and how Winnipeg’s thriving arts and culture scene inspired an independent film from two Winnipeggers (James Swirsky and Lisanne Pajot) called Indie Game: The Movie, which went on to win awards at the Sundance Film Festival and was a New York Times Critic’s Pick.
The other seven intelligent cities are: Arlington County, Virginia; Columbus, Ohio; Hsinchu City, Taiwan; Kingston, Ont.; New Taipei City, Taiwan; and Toronto, Ont.
The Intelligent Community of the Year will be selected from among the seven and announced in June 2014.