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Mitchell again named one of world's Smart21 Communities

For the second year in a row, Mitchell has been selected by the Intelligent Community Forum as one of the world’s Smart21 Communities.

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The communities are now in contention for the designation of 2014 Intelligent Community of the Year, which will be awarded in June.

“Once again the cities and towns on the Smart21 list have impressed us with their ability to use innovative ideas, broadband resources and hard work to improve local economic and social conditions,” Intelligent Community co-founder Louis Zacharilla said in a news release. “Not surprisingly, there are many repeats on the list, which means that continuous and sustained improvements are taking place. Building great communities is a long process.”

The presenter of the award, the Intelligent Community Forum, studies and promotes best practices of information and communications technology.

“To help communities build prosperous economies, solve social problems and enrich local cultures, the Intelligent Community Forum conducts research, hosts events, publishes newsletters and books and produces its high-profile international awards program,” says the organization’s written self-description.

Only 126 communities around the world have been named an Intelligent Community over the past 16 years. Mitchell is the smallest community on this year’s list, with about 15,000 residents. The largest is Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with a population of more than 6 million.

Evaluation of nominations is based on five Intelligent Community Indicators, which the Intelligent Community Forum says “provide the conceptual framework for understanding all of the factors that determine a community’s competitiveness and point to its success in the broadband economy.” In addition, the awards are guided by this year’s theme, Community as Canvas, which looks at three specific aspects of culture: as art and craftwork with both economic and social value, as heritage that gives a place its identity, and as attitudes arising from that heritage that determine how people react to change.

The new Smart21 Communities of 2014 will next provide more detailed data, which is evaluated by an independent research firm. The seven highest-scoring cities or regions will then be named the Top7 Intelligent Communities of the Year in January in Taichung City, Taiwan, the reigning Intelligent Community of the Year. In June, at an event in New York City, one community will be chosen as the 2014 Intelligent Community of the Year.