Tue, Nov 07, 2006 - Page 8 News List

Letter: Taipei a digital inspiration

By Louis Zacharilla

Last June Taipei was named Intelligent Community of the Year during an annual conference at New York's Polytechnic University.

Taipei's selection was almost universally acknowledged as the correct one, although the community of Waterloo, Ontario (Canada), home to the BlackBerry device, was a very strong contender. However, in the end, the complete performance of the community met each of the Intelligent Community Forum's five basic criteria.

Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) efforts in bringing Taipei to prominence in this area have not only inspired more "digital" communities to come forward this year, as we continue our search for Taipei's successor (which will be named on May 18 in New York during the "Building the Broadband Economy" conference), but it has also confirmed what our think tank has explored for several years. That is, leadership is essential in moving a community and culture into the "digital age."

On Monday, Taipei's Economic and Cultural Office in New York will host a reception to announce the Smart21 Intelligent Communities of 2007.

As those involved with Taipei's nomination this year know, these are the 21 communities that are named as finalists for the Intelligent Community of the Year. We notice that Taipei's leadership has inspired a certain quality of entrants and that helps us study communities further. We at the Intelligent Community Forum would like to thank Taipei for being a role model for communities everywhere that wish to use the tools of technology to form cultures that we hope are increasingly more peaceful and prosperous.

Louis Zacharilla

Co-founder and director

Intelligent Community Forum, New York

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