Aurora named as one of the world’s Smart21 Communities of 2015

(Aurora) – The Intelligent Community Forum named the City of Aurora as one of the world’s Smart21 Communities of 2015. This select group of communities will now be in contention for the prestigious designation of Intelligent Community of the Year in June 2015.

“Our analysts have selected 21 communities that have shown progress in their attempt to make the leap to Intelligent Community status.  The Revolutionary Community theme for 2015 is perfect for this group.  Not all of them are cities, towns or regions that people immediately think of as ‘tech cities.’  Tech is not all there is to a great community.  Some are aspirational but all have launched programs that are innovative, and will do something that most cities, towns and regions have been attempting since the broadband economy emerged: launch a successful and full-scale full revolt against brain drain and the creation of industries that will produce jobs.”

Evaluation of Intelligent Community Forum Awards Program nominations is based on the five Intelligent Community Indicators – Broadband Connectivity, Knowledge Workforce, Innovation, Digital Inclusion, and Advocacy – which 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.

Aurora’s many benchmarks, such as the new STEM Partnership Academy at Aurora University, the Pathways to Prosperity Initiative, and the Seize the Future Development Foundation, are complemented by Aurora’s innovative use of its fiber optic network to build a strong foundation in a 21st century broadband economy.

“We are very proud of this global recognition. Of the 300 communities that submitted applications from throughout the world, to be ranked in the Smart 21 shows that Aurora is on the cutting edge of technology, workforce development, and community engagement” said Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner. “Aurora’s innovative Our fiber optic broadband network and the collaboration with OnLight Aurora are attracting new businesses, increasing educational opportunities for our students, connecting facilities for affordable prices, and setting a new standard. We are not just the City of Lights, we are the City of Light Speed.”

The Smart21 Communities of 2015 is comprised of communities throughout the World. Aurora is just one of five cities in the United States of America and the only in the state of Illinois. The communities are:

Arlington County, Virginia – USA Astana – Kazakhstan Aurora, Illinois – USA Changhua County – Taiwan Columbus, Ohio – USA Dubuque, Iowa – USA Edmonton, Alberta – Canada Ipswich, Queensland – Australia Mitchell, South Dakota – USA Nairobi County – Kenya New Taipei City – Taiwan Prospect, South Australia – Australia Rio de Janeiro – Brazil Sherbrooke, Quebec – Canada Shiojiri City – Japan Sunshine Coast, Queensland – Australia Surrey, British Columbia – Canada Taitung County – Taiwan Taoyuan County – Taiwan Whanganui – New Zealand Whittlesea, Victoria – Australia

The Smart21 Communities of 2015 will next provide more detailed data through an extensive questionnaire, 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, on January 22 in Taichung City, Taiwan, the 2013 Intelligent Community of the Year. In June of 2015, at an event in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the 2014 Intelligent Community of the Year, one community will be chosen to succeed Toronto as the 2015 Intelligent Community of the Year.

The Intelligent Community Forum produced a video about the Smart21 for 2015. It can be viewed here –