July 13, 2012 -- Three Mayors of Canadian cities that have received global “Intelligent City” recognition are gathering in York Region on Sunday and Monday, July 15th -16th, to share their success experiences with six Mayors in York Region, as part of i-CANADA’s “Springboard” program for peer coaching on the path to success.
The Springboard pilot was inspired by a recent Business and Bandwidth conference, where local leaders from the private and public sector learned about the economic benefits and competitive advantages for communities that have made the transformation to intelligent communities. A key driver was hearing directly from representatives of both large and small communities about how they organized and developed their programs. Mayor Brad Woodside of Fredericton New Brunswick was particularly inspiring, as he described the real-world journey that Fredericton took to become the exceptional city that it is today.
The Mayors who are joining Mayor Woodside to share their path to success include Brenda Halloran, Mayor of Waterloo, and Dan Mathieson, Mayor of Stratford. Fredericton and Stratford have been recognized among the top seven “Intelligent Communities”, and Waterloo has won the top community award; the awards are judged by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) in New York. Mayors Woodside and Mathieson are on the i–CANADA Governors Council, which is Chaired by New Brunswick Premier David Alward.
“It is clear that communities who strategically approach technology as an economic driver have created a competitive advantage for themselves,” noted i-CANADA Chair Bill Hutchison. “These communities have created job growth in the private sector, higher than average incomes, and have benefited the public sector through a stronger tax base.”
“On the world stage, Canada has demonstrated leadership and earned accolades with Intelligent Community Development,” stated Mayor Halloran. “Select communities such as Waterloo, Windsor, Fredericton, Stratford, Moncton, St John, Calgary and Quebec City have been able to demonstrate to the world that they are both community and business leaders in technology development. These select Canadian communities have demonstrated their global leadership in the value chain. I-CANADA’s Springboard program gives us a structure through which we can more easily share knowledge about that competitive advantage.”
Mayor Mathieson added that “Stratford has worked hard and worked as a team, and we are happy to share our experiences. This is a long process, but one that pays dividends for the community.”
Becoming an Intelligent Community is critical for our prosperity, according to i-CANDA Co-Founder Barry Gander. “The fact of ‘urbanization’ is the central transforming event of our lifetime . We are adding a major city the size of New York to the planet almost every month. Managing this growth, and the rising complexity of urban systems that disperse water, transportation, energy, food, healthcare and finance, is a central challenge for community leaders.”
++ An Intelligent City is defined by the ICF as one that has:
· ++ A Knowledge Workforce, creating economic value through processing and use of information;
· ++ Ultra-broadband connectivity, the new ` utility` essential for economic growth;
· ++ Digital Inclusion, to bridge gaps and empower every group;
· ++ Innovation, the capacity for social and business renewal; and
· Marketing and Advocacy, among the members of the community itself, to generate support.
i-CANADA is movement - an alliance of 50 communities working to create a nation of Intelligent Communities large and small, central and remote, all enjoying the economic development, job growth and social prosperity now available in the world’s leading Intelligent Communities or Smart Cities. I-CANADA is expanding upon Canada’s “Islands of Excellence” like Calgary, Fredericton, Moncton, Stratford, Waterloo and Windsor, which have all been recognized for excellence by the Global Intelligent Community Forum. The i-CANADA Program is supported by uniquely-developed and proven frameworks, templates, benchmarks and measurements to help communities recognize the opportunities and manage the transition to an Intelligent Community as defined by the Intelligent Community Forum. The design of the Program is based on twenty years of experience in building Intelligent Communities and i-CANADA’s with i-CANADA and other international initiatives. i-CANADA`s Governors Council is Chaired by New Brunswick Premier David Alward. Its Governors Council include Premier Dexter of Nova Scotia, Mayors from dozens of communities, CEOs of major corporations, and research community luminaries.
Join the i-CANADA Conversation today with leading experts at this URL: http://www.linkedin.com/groups/iCANADA-Forum-3066705/about
The meetings on July 15th and 16th involve i-CANADA`s `Springboard` program, to provide knowledge-sharing among Mayors and peers. It is being piloted as a multi-step program to help communities get appropriate ultra-broadband foundations for the new global “Ideas Economy”. The next meeting will be in Vancouver region in August.