Updated: Oct 14
The Urban Robotics Foundation is delighted to welcome the city of Hilliard, Ohio, (USA) as a municipal member. As part of our exploratory conversation about member benefits, we learned that Hilliard was named one of the Global Top7 Intelligent Communities of 2023 by the Intelligent Community Forum® (aka ICF). We had not heard of ICF before but, given URF's focus on municipal readiness for public-area mobile robots, we were curious to learn more.
About Intelligent Communities
You may be asking yourself (as we did), what is ICF?
Their website explains: "The Intelligent Community Forum® is a global network with a think tank at its center. It connects hundreds of cities and regions on five continents for collaboration on economic development and for exchange of expertise and information that drives progress. Through this network, ICF researches how Intelligent Communities use information and communications technology to build inclusive prosperity, solve social problems and enrich their quality of life in our connected century."
And what does it mean to be selected as a Top7 Intelligent Community?
"The Top7 represent models of economic and social transformation in the 21st Century ... each exemplifies best practices in broadband deployment and use, workforce development, innovation, digital inclusion and advocacy that offer lessons to regions, cities, towns and villages around the world. They are charting new paths to lasting prosperity for their citizens, businesses and institutions." To find out more, here is a link to the ICF website.
About Hilliard, OH
According to Michelle Crandall, City Manager at the City of Hilliard, "ICF recognizes communities that have several common traits and one is that we all have an innovation mindset that includes focusing on continuous learning and improvement. We don't rest on our laurels of previous accomplishments, but rather are always asking 'what should we look at next?'. That mindset, to stay out in front of emerging opportunities, is also what led the city of Hilliard to become a member of the Urban Robotics Foundation."
She continues: "Being a member of URF gives us the chance to learn about the latest developments in public-area mobile robotics, look for opportunities in that space for implementation, and network with other forward-thinking communities and companies that care about this evolving area of technology and service delivery."
On October 25th and 26th, delegates will gather in New York City for the ICF Global Summit 2023. One of the Top 7 will be named ICF's Intelligent Community of the Year®, based on a second round of analysis, site visits by ICF's co-founders and the votes of an international jury.
As a global, non-profit foundation with a similar mission to ICF, we shouldn't play favourites. Like they say with the Academy Awards, it's an honour just to be nominated.... so we'll mention that the other six finalists are:
Binh Duong Smart City, Vietnam
Coral Gables, Florida, USA
Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil
Durham Region, Ontario, Canada
Greater Geelong, Victoria, Australia
Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
We hope you agree that it is exciting to expand our network with innovative members like Hilliard, Ohio (and hopefully more of the ICF communities in the coming weeks and months!). On behalf of the Urban Robotics Foundation, we send our best wishes to Michelle and everyone at the city of Hilliard for a wonderful, memorable time at the ICF global summit. We also thank them for inspiring us to learn about the great work of ICF.