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Astana enters Top 21 Intelligent Communities list

29 october 2014, 12:20
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The left bank of Kazakhstan's capital Astana ©Turar Kazangapov
The left bank of Kazakhstan's capital Astana ©Turar Kazangapov

Kazakhstan's capital Astana has entered The Smart21 Communities of 2015 list, Tengrinews reports citing the official website of the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF), a nonprofit policy research organization that makes this list annually.

It is the first stage of the annual Intelligent Community Awards organized by the ICF. Thereafter, the ICF will select 21 finalists who will compete to become one of the Top Seven Intelligent Communities of the Year in January 2015.  From January till June 2015, the ICF will conduct a comprehensive work to choose the winner of the prestigious Intelligent Community of the Year award.

“We have started the search for Toronto’s successor,” co-founder of the ICF Louis Zacharilla is quoted as saying by the ICF official website, “More important, our analysts have selected 21 communities that have shown progress in their attempt to make the leap to Intelligent Community status. The Revolutionary Community theme for 2015 is perfect for this group. Not all of them are cities, towns or regions that people immediately think of as ‘tech cities.’ Tech is not all there is to a great community. Some are aspirational but all have launched programs that are innovative, and will do something that most cities, towns and regions have been attempting since the broadband economy emerged: launch a successful and full-scale full revolt against brain drain and the creation of industries that will produce jobs.”

"Over 16 years we have built not only a new capital, but turned it into the city that astonishes not only Kazakhstan citizens, but also the guests from all over the world. Today, we have learnt that Astana entered the Top 21 Smart Communities list," Nursultan Nazarbayev said when presenting new Astana's Mayor Adilbek Dzhaksybekov to the city's administration's staff earlier this month.

Along with Astana, which is the first Kazakh city to appear on this list, five communities from the United States, four communities from Australia and Taiwan, three communities from Canada and one from Brazil, Japan, Kenya and New Zealand each will also compete for  the prestigious award. 

Being in the year’s Smart21 list is already a huge honour that recognises the Kazakhstan city as one of the world’s intelligent communities that have made significant efforts to make the life of its residents prosperous and comfortable using innovations and communication technologies in the broadband economy.

The theme of this year is Revolutionary Community. It focuses on the study of urban and regional planning and its impact on the life of the city’s residents. The contenders are evaluated based on their level of the infrastructure development as well as innovations and modern technologies used in the city’s planning.

After the announcement of the Smart21 Communities list, the nominates have to provide a detailed data about their communities based on ICF's Intelligent Community Indicators as well as an annual theme. An independent research firm will then evaluate the contenders on a number of factors, whereupon a quantitative ranking of the candidates will be concluded. The seven cities that will end up with the highest results will become the ICF's Top 7 Intelligent Communities.

These seven cities might not necessarily be the most advanced cities, neither they are the fastest growing communities in the world. Instead, each sets an example of the best practices in broadband deployment, innovation, technologies.

Thereafter, when seven cities are chosen, a detailed information provided by each community goes through a quantitative analysis conducted by an independent research firm, which evaluates the information on a dozen of  factors to produce an aggregate score for each community.

At the same time, the ICF founders visit each of the seven communities to check the validity of the information they provided and then prepare reports on each candidate. Subsequently, the jury review the reports and rank each of the communities.

The final selection is made based on the qualitative ranking of the jury and the results of the quantitative analysis made by the research firm.

The winner will be announced at the ICF's annual Building the Broadband Economy summit in New York City in June 2015. 

Last year the city of Toronto in Canada received a prestigious Intelligent Community of the Year award.

The Intelligent Community Forum is a think tank that studies the economic and social development of the 21 century community. Whether in industrialized or developing nations, communities are challenged to create prosperity, stability and cultural meaning in a world where jobs, investment and knowledge increasingly depend on advances in communications. For the 21 century community, connectivity is a double-edge sword: threatening established ways of life on the one hand, and offering powerful new tools to build prosperous, inclusive and environmentally sustainable economies on the other. ICF seeks to share the best practices of the world's Intelligent Communities in adapting to the demands of the broadband economy in order to help communities everywhere find sustainable renewal and growth.

The video below is about the Smart21 for 2015.

By Assel Satubaldina


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