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Urban Robotics Foundation partners with Intelligent Community Forum

Date: January 23, 2024

The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) and the Urban Robotics Foundation (URF) announced today a partnership aiming to share best practices on robot integration in communities by local governments around the world.

Bern Grush, URF Executive Director states, “URF is excited to partner with ICF and to engage with their community members on the journey to safely integrating mobile robots on city sidewalks and public spaces. ICF’s framework to enhance municipal readiness while ensuring inclusive societies is an ideal match with the work of URF.”

About ICF

The Intelligent Community Forum (, headquartered in New York, is a global network of nearly 200 cities, metro regions and counties. ICF has developed a unique economic development framework called the Community Accelerator Strategy, based on its work with over 200 communities around the world, and offers training, consulting, community certification and international awards. Implementing the Accelerator Strategy guides cities and regions in adapting to the demands of this digital century and create a triple “win” of inclusive economic prosperity that strengthens social connection and supports a rich and meaningful culture.

ICF is a research, consulting, training and membership organization pioneering new paths to economic and community development through digital technology for cities, counties, and regions around the world. In a world dominated by digital, ICF helps communities create innovative and growing economies, inclusive societies, and affirming cultures open to the world. Its work is based on 25 years of research with over 200 communities that have created a unique, data-driven approach to development that puts citizens first while tapping the enormous economic and social potential of technology. ICF delivers value through training and coaching programs, membership, networking community certification, events and an international awards program.

“We are proud to add the Urban Robotics Foundation to our partner organizations,” said Robert Bell, co-founder of ICF. “Smart city solutions including robotics are features of every Intelligent Community as they work to develop their economies in the Digital Century. URF’s mission, to bring together community leaders and stakeholders in preparation for integrating robots into cities, addresses a challenge that will change the shape of communities over the next 20 years.”

Through the partnership, ICF and URF will exchange content, expertise, and communication resources with each other’s networks, and collaborate on content including a webinar and an online course to be released later this year.

ICF Awards

The Smart21 announcement is the first stage in ICF's annual Intelligent Community Awards cycle. Based on Intelligent Community Index questionnaires submitted by communities large and small from around the world, ICF selects 21 finalists with the potential to become one of the Forum's Top7 Intelligent Communities of the Year.

The cities of Hilliard, Ohio and Sunshine Coast Council, Australia - two of the Global ICF Top 7 Intelligent Communities for 2023 - recently joined URF as municipal members. The Smart21 announcement for 2024 will take place on March 20, 2024 during the Smart City Summit and Expo in Taipei, Taiwan, which will be attended by an economic development mission of ICF member communities.

About the Urban Robotics Foundation

The Urban Robotics Foundation ( was founded in 2021 as a global, non-profit organization that is bringing together stakeholders interested in public-area mobile robots (PMRs). Their goal is to help ensure that stakeholders understand the opportunities and challenges of PMRs and to build a global network of people focused on learning how PMRs can contribute to improved livability in urban ecosystems.

Read more about our ICF connections in these previous blog posts:

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