Beyond a smart city, is Montreal an intelligent community?

WATCH ABOVE: Lou Zacharilla tells Jamie Orchard how Montreal can become an intelligent community.

MONTREAL – As Montreal plays host to the Smart City Expo on March 25-27, the co-founder of the Intelligent Community Forum is offering some tips on how to get our city engaged in creating a sustainable future.

Lou Zacharilla is the co-founder of the New York City-based Intelligent Community Forum, which works to revitalize communities for the 21st century.

Zacharilla spelled out the five criteria that make an intelligent community:

1. New infrastructure: are we supporting broadband and information technology?

2. Workforce: are we creating a knowledge-based workforce?

3. Innovation: particularly at the local government level, are we facilitating these changes?

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4. Digital inclusion: are libraries, schools, hospitals and other community organizations hooked up?

5. Advocacy: how well do we tell our stories and market them to the rest of the world?

The Smart City Expo is an international conference on the “city of the future,” bringing together public administrators, international experts and firms specialized in developing urban policies for smarter cities.

Montreal hit the smart 21 list in 2014, but still lags behind Toronto, which was voted “Intelligent Community of the Year” last year.

What makes a smart city?

The best smart cities focus on making their communities work better by metering and monitoring water, electricity and roads to make everything run cheaper, faster and more efficiently.

What makes an intelligent community?

Intelligent communities go one step further than smart cities by focusing on re-energizing the grassroots movements that reinvigorate a city.

Intelligent communities are cities that take a closer look at their problems and tackle them head on to address the most important natural resource – human brain power.

The idea is to harness the skills of community leaders on all levels, including economic, social and cultural.


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