The Intelligent Community Forum named Riverside, California as the most Intelligent Community of the Year 2012 at its annual awards ceremony at Steiner Film Studios in Brooklyn, New York.
Riverside has been named in the Top 7 Intelligent Communities for two years in a row, but this year Riverside was presented the top International honor. 2012 is the first time in five years that a North American city won the award, and it was the first time in 10 years that a US city won.
When accepting the award, Mayor Ron Loveridge said, “I take immense pride in accepting the award for Most Intelligent City in the World because it honors Riverside’s excellence in so many of the key markers of success in the 21st century, including: high technology, workforce development, digital inclusion, arts, innovation, collaboration and social capital. We have been tested and assessed as world leaders and we are delighted to work with the ICF on spreading innovation throughout the global community.”
The awards are presented by ICF, an independent think tank at a conference attended by nearly 300 thought leaders from around the globe, including the world’s Top Seven Intelligent Communities. This award honors communities that have overcome challenges to set a global standard for the use of information and communications technology in building sustainable local prosperity and social inclusion in the 21st Century.
ICF co-founder Louis Zacharilla congratulated the new Intelligent Community of the Year, saying, Riverside is a community that “…using its collective will power and intelligence to prove, once again, that there is a great revival taking place among the world’s cities, towns and regions.”
Riverside was recognized for its commitment to broadband, citywide innovation and its knowledge-economy. In a release from ICF, they noted Riverside stood out because of its intelligent approach to initiating change. That change came from collaboration to promote technology initiatives and tech-based transformation with universities and private technology executive officers.
Some of the programs called out by ICF were the 2004 launch of a partnership with the Dean of Economic Development for Riverside Community College District to convene a high tech taskforce to identify ways to channel California’s high-tech growth into our community. The high tech taskforce produced a comprehensive report on ways for Riverside to augment technology and spur innovation in Riverside. Additionally, Riverside’s Technology CEO Forum and SmartRiverside were recognized. Other areas for which Riverside was recognized included the establishment of the University Research Park, the free WIFI network which offers up to 1 Mbps service through 1,600 access points, e-government applications such as traffic management, graffiti tracking and removal, as well as the Digital Inclusion program.