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October 22, 2013 -

For the second year in a row, Kingston has been chosen as one of the world's 21 "smart communities" by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) based out of New York City.

  The ICF's website describes "Smart" or "Intelligent" communities as "those which have –whether through crisis or foresight – come to understand the enormous challenges of the Broadband Economy, and have taken conscious steps to create an economy capable of prospering in it." In addition, the "2014 Theme: Community as Canvas" focuses on the power of culture to help or hinder the transformation of towns, cities and regions into Intelligent Communities.

"ICF looks at how a community makes use of advanced Internet communications infrastructure, such as fibre optic and wireless technologies, so as to encourage users to apply them in a robust way. Kingston makes the list because of its commitment to using technology to advance the community's sustainability objectives," says Jim Keech, President and CEO of Utilities Kingston, which is unique in Ontario for combining water, wastewater, gas and electric services, and a fibre optics provider in one company.

In its application, Kingston also noted its rich cultural life.  "Kingston is in a unique position among Canadian communities, given its location, history, resources and overall quality of life.  For a community our size, Kingston is characterized by an exceptional level of cultural activity," says Mayor Mark Gerretsen. Kingston is also noteworthy as the location of one of UNESCO´s newest World Heritage Sites – the Rideau Canal and Kingston fortifications – as well as the Frontenac Arch Biosphere that is recognized as part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves.  The investment in culture is now being seen as a driver of economic development.

Kingston is one of six Canadian cities on the list of 21. The others are Montreal, Parkland County (Alberta), Quebec City, Toronto and Winnipeg.  Canada had the best showing of any country on the list, which included Australia (four cities), the United States (four cities) and Taiwan (three cities), Brazil, Greece, Kenya, and New Zealand.

"Once again the cities and towns on the Smart21 list have impressed us with their ability to use innovative ideas, broadband resources and hard work to improve local economic and social conditions," said Intelligent Community co-founder Louis Zacharilla. "Not surprisingly, there are many repeats on the list, which means that continuous and sustained improvements are taking place.  Building great communities is a long process." Only 126 communities around the world have been named an Intelligent Community over the past 16 years. 

The ICF annually chooses the top 21 smart communities from more than 400 submissions worldwide, then pares the list down to a top 7 smart communities in January and finally announces its Intelligent Community of the Year in June.  This year that honour went to Taichung City, Taiwan. 

A podcast of the announcement may be seen at:


Media contact: For more information contact Cindie Ashton, Communications Officer 613-546-4291, ext. 3116. Or call the City of Kingston's media hotline at 613-546-4291, ext. 2300.

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