Greater Taichung was recently named one of the world’s “Top Seven Intelligent Communities” for having successfully completed a merger of administrative districts while continuing to expand its connectivity.
The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF), a think tank that studies the economic and social development of the 21st Century community, released its “Top Seven Intelligent Communities” for this year on Jan. 18, the Greater Taichung Government said yesterday.
By ranking in the elite group, Greater Taichung has the chance of being selected by the think tank in June as “Intelligent Community of the Year.”
The six other communities on the top seven list were: Austin, Texas, and Riverside, California, in the US; Quebec City, Quebec, Saint John, New Brunswick, and Stratford, Ontario, in Canada; and Oulu in Finland.
The think tank said the leading communities were chosen for providing a model of economic and social development in the 21st century, using information and communications technology (ICT) to power growth, address social challenges and preserve and promote culture.
“Each of these communities has created a uniquely powerful ecosystem on a foundation of information and communications technology,” ICF co-founder Louis Zacharilla said in a statement on the foundation’s Web site.
“By becoming platforms for innovation, they are creating a better life for citizens on all rungs of the economic ladder and a vibrant future for the next generation,” Zacharilla said.
Greater Taichung joined the elite club after the former county and city of Taichung were merged at the end of 2010, an opportunity the think tank said would help the municipality’s companies, government, transportation network and business parks work more efficiently together.
The ICF praised Greater Taichung for investing side-by-side with Taiwan’s telecommunications carriers.
“As a result, Taichung now has 80 percent coverage for both WiMAX wireless and fiber broadband, with 100 percent expected within five years. Using this network, Taichung has worked steadily to streamline the way business operates,” the think tank said.
It also cited Greater Taichung’s Industrial Technology Research Institute for introducing 47 precision manufacturers to a new shared, cloud-based Engineering Data Bank to help reduce purchasing costs and time-to-market.
“It is the first of a series of such joint projects to harness ICT for industrial applications, safety, healthcare, energy savings and lifestyle,” the think tank said.
Greater Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強) praised the Taichung City Research, Development and Evaluation Commission, led by Chairwoman Liao Ching-chih (廖靜芝), for the team’s performance in introducing the municipality’s information and communications technology to the think tank.
The seven communities, drawn from the Smart21 for this year, were chosen based on analysis by a team of independent academic experts, the think tank said.