Coquitlam is up for a major international award as a “smart city.”
Last week, the Intelligent Communities Forum (ICF) named Coquitlam as one of 21 municipalities in the running for the title of 2021 Intelligence Community of the Year.
The field will be narrowed on June 24 when seven finalists are announced; the winner is named in October at an annual summit of digital analysts.
Coquitlam is in good company for Canadian competitors: Maple Ridge, Langley Township, Winnipeg, Markham, Mississauga, Durham and Fredericton were also nominated as Smart21 Communities of 2021.
Other municipalities and regions chosen as semi-finalists are:
• Alexandria Lakes, Fairlawn, Philadelphia and Rochester (United States)
• Adelaide, Prospect, Sunshine Coast and Townsville (Australia)
• Wellington (New Zealand)
• Belfast (Northern Ireland)
• Binh Duong Smart City (Vietnam)
• Curitiba (Brazil)
• Moscow (Russia)
The 21 communities are being credited for their ability to “connect, sustain, include, engage, innovate and work” using high-tech means that boost competitiveness.
Coquitlam was singled out for its QNet fibre optic network, its 2018-’22 Technology Roadmap and its online outreach, among other things.
The ICF said the advanced technology work prior to the pandemic helped the 21 communities pivot easily from office to home or school as well as provide digital services to meet the needs of local citizens.
Based in New York, the ICF is a worldwide movement that studies the best practices of intelligent communities. Its model and work are recognized by the U.S. Department of Commerce, under the Workforce and Innovation and Opportunity Act.