Hey, Arlington: The next time someone asks to pick your brain, let them know they're getting a premium.
The Intelligent Community Forum, a New York-based think tank that studies economic and social development, has named Arlington as one of its Top 7 Intelligent Communities out of hundreds of places evaluated around the world.
Each of the seven demonstrated "how they have begun to fuse technology, culture and collaboration for economic sustainability. They have set a new course for other cities to follow," Lou Zacharilla, Intelligent Community Forum co-founder, said in a statement.
The Top 7, in alphabetical order, as they are listed on the forum's website:
- Arlington County, Virginia, USA, which is building its own fiber network to boost broadband service and re-energize government-business-university collaboration
- Columbus, Ohio, USA, which in its recovery from the 2008 recession has 20,000 more jobs than it did at its last economic peak in 2007
- Hsinchu City, Taiwan, the first city in Taiwan to implement e-learning platforms for its students and establish a science park
- Kingston, Ontario, Canada, which leveraged its educational institutions to build an innovation economy focused on environmental sustainability
- New Taipei City, Taiwan, a new city forged from communities surrounding the nation’s capital, which is creating a unified and dynamic knowledge economy
- Toronto, Ontario, Canada, with a renowned waterfront development that will provide Internet at 500 times the speed of conventional residential networks
- Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, where reinvention of its agricultural legacy is creating strong growth while preserving a valued heritage
“We’re honored to have Arlington listed among these successful communities from around the globe,” Arlington County Board Chairman Jay Fisette said in a statement. “It is gratifying that the success of our integrated planning, infrastructure investments and innovation in enhancing our community’s economic sustainability has been recognized at this high level."
The forum noted Arlington's Smart Growth tactics of concentrating dense development around Metro corridors to preserve neighborhoods and open space, its collaboration between government, business and academia, and the construction of its fiber optic ConnectArlington network as factors in the designation, according to a news release from the county.
The local government highlighted the designation as dovetailing into Fisette's declaration on New Year's Day that Arlington will become a hub of the Innovation Economy.
"Arlington is a diverse, well-educated community that has worked diligently to attract national high-tech and research companies," Arlington Economic Development Director Terry Holzheimer said in a statement. "This designation by the Intelligent Communities Forum recognizes that Arlington is the heart of the growing eastern tech corridor."
The Intelligent Community Forum Awards Program wraps up in New York City in June during the forum’s annual summit.
There, one of the Top 7 Intelligent Communities will be named the 2014 Intelligent Community of the Year.
Arlington first made the Top 7 Intelligent Communities list in 2010.