Riverside’s Reign as No. 1 ‘Intelligent Community’ Sets Bar, Foundation for Future Prosperity

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

This week marks the end of Riverside’s one year reign as the 2012 Intelligent Community of the Year.  This prestigious international designation was bestowed by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) in a ceremony in New York City on June 8, 2012.  Riverside was only the 3rd US City to win this award, and the first since New York City was honored in 2001.  This week, a delegation led by Mayor Rusty Bailey will travel to New York City to culminate our reign, and the 2013 winner will be announced on Friday, June 7.     

The Intelligent Community of the Year designation recognizes that Riverside has the core elements in place to thrive in the Broadband Economy, also known as the Information Age.  ICF has identified these core elements as broadband connectivity, knowledge workforce, innovation, digital inclusion and marketing and advocacy.  Click here to view an exciting video that highlights Riverside’s community strengths in these areas.

In addition to our designation as 2012 Intelligent Community of the Year, Riverside was honored at the 2012 ICF Summit with the “Coolest Broadband App” award by a vote of attendees.  This was a based on a demonstration of Riverside Unified School District’s Digital Dashboard, which was uniformly praised at the event.

“While our official reign as No. 1 is ending, the assets that won the City this recognition show that our community is well positioned to thrive in the long term” stated Mayor Bailey.  “These assets, including the ‘Can Do’ spirit recognized by Newsweek magazine in 2011, and a culture of collaboration between government, education, business and residents, provide a framework to continue to build a prosperous local economy.”

Another significant recognition to come from our reign is that the ICF Foundation will be voting this week on whether to add Sustainability as an Intelligent Community Indicator.  This is a direct result of the ICF founders being impressed by Riverside’s efforts toward sustainability during their site visit to Riverside.  This piqued a conversation that included Riverside Public Utilities providing a presentation on the city’s sustainability initiatives and successes at the 2012 ICF Foundation Board meeting.

About the Award.  The Intelligent Community Forum is a think tank that studies economic and social development in the 21st century.  ICF coined the phrase “Intelligent Community” to describe cities that have the core elements in place to thrive in the Broadband Economy.  Riverside rose to the top through a competition that started with 435 cities from throughout the world and was narrowed down to the Top 21 and then the Top 7.  The rigorous review process included a quantitative analysis of each of the Top 7 by an independent company and a qualitative assessment by the ICF which was validated by a site visit.  These reports were then submitted to an international jury of former Intelligent Communities of the Year, government officials, business leaders, academics and consultants involved in the Intelligent Community movement. The jury ranked each of the communities, and ICF combined the qualitative ranking with the quantitative scoring of the research company to produce the final selection.  Previous Intelligent Communities of the Year include New York City, USA; Eindhoven, Netherlands; Stockholm, Sweden; Taipei, Taiwan; Glasgow, Scotland; Seoul, South Korea and Singapore.  To learn more about ICF, visit their web site at www.intelligentcommunity.org.