January 25, 2015 8:29 pm
Updated: August 6, 2016 3:03 pm

Surrey named one of the world’s most intelligent communities


WATCH: Asa Rehman talks with Louis Zacharilla of the Intelligent Community Forum about Surrey’s place on a ranking of the world’s most intelligent communities

The city of Surrey has been placed on its fair share of lists over the years – but this is one local politicians will be happy to publicize.

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The Intelligent Community Forum has named Surrey as one of the top seven intelligent communities in the world. They’re one of seven finalists for the New York-based organization’s award, which has been given out every year since 1999.

READ MORE: Surrey’s population projected to surpass Vancouver in the next decade

“It made the top 7 by choosing to go in a different direction,” says Louis Zacharilla, a co-founder of the organization.

“Surrey has sort of fast-tracked himself.”

In their description of the finalists, the Forum said Surrey “is a city in transition from a suburban past in the shadow of Vancouver to a sustainable urban future. To gain greater control over its destiny, Surrey has developed a diversification strategy calling for deepening the partnership between its institutions of higher learning and local business.”

“Industry is working with the academic sector and working with the local government to develop plans to develop the type of knowledge-based economy that we think is critical to keeping people moving forward in the middle class,” said Zacharilla. “You’re aspirational and you’re thinking the right way, according to the intelligent folks in our organization.”

READ MORE: ‘Only in Surrey’ Facebook page not so funny to city officials

Over 300 cities submitted an application to the The Intelligent Community Forum, who then combined their opinions of the writeup with a wide variety of data to formulate their rankings.

The winner will be announced on June 11. Competing against Rio de Janeiro, New Taipei City and four others, Zacharilla said Surrey is a “dark horse” for the award, but added anything is possible.

“They’ve got a 1 in 7 shot. That’s pretty good.”

© 2015 Shaw Media

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