The City of Surrey is in the running for the title of "2015 Intelligent Community of the Year".
A New York-based think tank called the Intelligent Community Forum has named the "Top7 Intelligent Communities of 2015", and Surrey made the list.
Also in the top seven: Arlington County, Virginia; Columbus, Ohio; Ipswich, Queensland, Australia; Mitchell, South Dakota; New Taipei City, Taiwan; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
“As the most rapidly growing city in the region, investing in technology and innovation is crucial to building a city that is ready for the challenges of the future,” Surrey mayor Linda Hepner stated in a celebratory news release. “The Top 7 distinction given to us is fitting as the City of Surrey has been at the forefront in our use of digital technology to foster economic, social and cultural opportunities.”
According to a news release issued by the ICF, communities nominated for its annual competition are evaluated based on five indicators that "provide the conceptual framework for understanding all of the factors that determine a community's competitiveness and point to its success in what the Intelligent Community Forum calls, 'The Broadband Economy.'"
Here's what the think tank has to say about Surrey:
Surrey, another first-time Top7 Intelligent Community, is a city in transition from a suburban past in the shadow of Vancouver to a sustainable urban future. To gain greater control over its destiny, Surrey has developed a diversification strategy calling for deepening the partnership between its institutions of higher learning and local business. Development is focused on an Innovation Boulevard project, where the city, universities and business are building clusters in health technology, clean tech and advanced manufacturing. Overseeing the project is the Mayor’s Health Technology Working Group, comprised of 50 representatives from universities, a health authority, nonprofits, business associations, government and developers.
Surrey beat out finalists such as Astana, Kazakhstan; Edmonton; Sherbrooke, Quebec; and Whanganui, New Zealand, to make the top seven.
The winning community will be announced on June 11 in Toronto.