Westerville Named a Global Top 7 Intelligent Community
The City of Westerville was named a 2019 Top 7 Intelligent Community by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF). The international announcement was made at Laval University in Quebec on Monday, Feb. 11.
Westerville was one of only three cities from the United States to receive this prestigious distinction. Other recognized communities are:
- Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada
- Hudson, Ohio
- Sarnia-Lambton County, Ontario, Canada
- Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
- Taoyuan, Taiwan
ICF members will now schedule a visit to all seven cities for an in-person evaluation of infrastructure, programs and partnerships that represent intelligent communities. Westerville expects its ICF visit this spring. The organization will then name a member of the Top 7 as the Intelligent Community of the Year at a global summit in New York City in June.
As part of the announcement, Westerville was recognized for its history of embracing innovation. From its role in the Underground Railroad to becoming the home of WeConnect (the nation’s first municipally owned data center), The Point at Otterbein University and more. Learn what makes Westerville a Top 7 Intelligent Community.
Westerville Chief Information Officer, Todd Jackson, attended the announcement in Quebec. “This is the first time a city in the U.S. has earned both the Smart21 and Top 7 designations with their first application,” said Jackson. “Overall, very few communities globally achieve both on their first attempt. We're excited to be in the Top 7 class and look forward to hosting the ICF delegation when they come to see Westerville for themselves.”
The City was named to ICF’s list of Smart21 Communities of 2019 in October. From there, staff worked closely with key community stakeholders like JP Morgan Chase, Central Ohio Primary Care (COPC), Lake Shore Cryotronics, Otterbein University, Westerville City Schools and the Westerville Public Library in the process to be named to the Top 7 list.
Top 7 candidates are evaluated against the “ICF Method,” which is “the first conceptual framework for understanding all of the factors that determine a community's competitiveness in the digital economy,” according to the organization’s website. Factors evaluated are broadband, knowledge workforce, innovation, digital equality, sustainability and advocacy.
For more information on the Top 7 or the ICF, visit www.intelligentcommunity.org.