The New Taipei City (新北市) Government yesterday hosted a forum on intelligent community development to draw on the experience of experts and improve its chances of being named one of the top intelligent cities next year.
“Through this forum, we can come up with better solutions and learn more approaches to make the community better and more intelligent,” New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) told the forum.
New Taipei City was named one of the “Smart21 Intelligent Communities of 2012” late last month, the first stage in the Intelligent Community Forum’s (ICF’s) annual award cycle, to be followed by the naming of the Top Seven Intelligent Communities of the Year.
”We are very happy and honored to be elected one of the Smart21 and we’re confident about getting into the top seven,” Chu said.
Although the rates of Internet access and broadband penetration in New Taipei City are relatively high — at 88 percent and 63 percent respectively — the city still needs to narrow the information gap between rural and urban areas and provide better wireless Internet services, Chu said.
The ICF official Web site says the Top Seven will be announced on Jan. 15 at the annual Pacific Telecommunications Council conference in Honolulu, Hawaii.
The cycle will then conclude in New York City on June 8 during the ICF’s annual Building the Broadband Economy Summit, where one of the Top Seven will succeed Eindhoven, Netherlands, as Intelligent Community of the Year 2012. The top 21 include four communities from Europe, 10 from North America, three from Latin America and four from Asia. New Taipei City is one of 11 communities appearing on the list for the first time.
The New York-based ICF is a think tank that studies the economic and social development of the 21st century community and seeks to share the best practices of the world’s intelligent communities in adapting to the demands of a broadband economy.
The daylong forum attracted more than 200 city government officials, professionals and experts from home and abroad. Waterloo Mayor Brenda Halloran of Canada and Steve Reneker, chief information officer of City of Riverside, also attended the event to share their experience.