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Four Taiwan cities, counties listed in 2018 Smart21 Communities

2017/10/28 15:05:43

Taipei, Oct. 27 (CNA) Four cities and counties in Taiwan -- Chiayi City, Kinmen County, Tainan City and Taoyuan City -- were named Friday among the world's Smart21 Communities of 2018 by the New York-based Intelligent Community Forum (ICF).

According to the ICF, the Smart21 list is a group of cities, counties and rural communities that have decided to apply digital tools to building local economies and societies so that they can prosper in an age of "digital disruption."

The number of finalists from Taiwan for the 2018 list fell by one this year compared to last year, but the number was the highest in the Asian region.

Kinmen County made it on the list of finalists for the first time.

Canada was the biggest winner for the 2018 ICF nomination list with a total of 11 Canadian cities named, including Hamilton, Niagara Falls, Pickering and Sarnia-Lambton County of Ontario, according to the ICF.

Three cities from Australia also made it on the list, while the United States, Finland and France saw one city each included, the ICF said.

It said the 21 finalists were chosen from almost 400 cities in the world based on quantitative and qualitative data they submitted in a wide range of areas, such as broadband infrastructure, innovations and sustainability.

The data was evaluated by a group of analysts led by Norman Jacknis, former Cisco executive and Chief Information Officer of Westchester County of New York, the ICF added.

"This year's list contains more surprises than we have seen in a long time," ICF Co-Founder Louis Zacharilla said in a statement. "Over half of them are Canadian communities that have been working on their programs for years and arrived on the list. We also see Taiwan and Australia continuing to embrace broadband and the ICF Method effectively."

"While these are diverse places, they all connect this year as places that take the humanization of data seriously. Data has no value unless it is put in the service of a better, more prosperous region, city or town," Zacharilla added.

The 21 finalists will vie for a place in the Top 7 Intelligent Communities of 2018 in February, which will lead up to the Intelligent Community of the Year award in London scheduled for June.

In 2017, Chiayi City, Tainan City and Taoyuan were named among the 21 finalists, along with Keelung City and Yilan County.

Taoyuan and Chiayi were selected to be among the Top 7 Intelligent Communities of 2017, but Melbourne won the first prize.

(By Timothy Huang and Frances Huang)