WESTERVILLE, OH – The City of Westerville was named a 2019 Global Smart21 Community by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) on Thursday, October 25. Westerville is one of only four cities in the U.S. to make the list, an annual compilation of 21 international communities leveraging their strengths in the broadband economy to advance economic opportunities and quality of life for citizens and the business community.
This is the first ICF recognition for Westerville. Fewer than 200 communities worldwide have been named to this prestigious list. Smart21 communities now begin a process to be named to the list of 2019 Top 7 Intelligent Communities.
According to the ICF website, Smart Communities are those which have – whether through crisis or foresight – come to understand the challenges of a global economy and have taken conscious steps to create an ecosystem capable of prospering in it. The ICF evaluates communities on the basis of their performance in six key indicators: broadband connectivity, knowledge workforce, innovation, digital equality, sustainability and advocacy.
The ICF recognizes communities based on a triple helix of collaboration among city government, private business and education. City staff worked closely with representatives from The Point at Otterbein University, Westerville City Schools, Westerville Public Library, JPMorgan Chase and other key stakeholders to craft the nomination, which combines reporting hard data with qualitative narratives to demonstrate the community’s strengths as a hub of innovation and opportunity. Initiatives like the City’s WeConnect data center and fiber network were representative elements of this innovative approach in the Westerville application.
The announcement was made by Louis Zacharilla, ICF co-founder, during an event hosted by ICF Canada.
“This was a significant effort of telling the Westerville story and our intentional investments in innovation, digital equity and economic development,” said David Collinsworth, Westerville City Manager. “Becoming a Smart21 Intelligent Community puts us in this year’s class with world-renowned cities, including those in Australia, Brazil, France, Taiwan, India, Canada and more. We’re proud of this designation and will continue our efforts to stand out not only in the state of Ohio, but across the globe.”
The City of Hudson, Ohio was the other municipality in the state to be named to the 2019 list. The cities of Columbus and Dublin have previously been recognized as Smart21 communities.
For more information on the Smart21 or the ICF, visit intelligentcommunity.org.
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/cityofwesterville or www.twitter.com/tellwesterville