Whanganui has been declared one of the global communities "most ready for the 21st century".

Once again, Whanganui has been named a Smart21 Community by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF), a New York-based think tank which helps communities adapt to a digital economy.

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Each year it selects the 21 communities, from its membership of 180, which best demonstrate the forum's mission and are deemed most ready for the 21st century.

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Whanganui was first named a Smart21 Community in 2013 and has been on the list six times. In 2016 it was placed in the top seven.

Communities from 10 countries have been selected in the 2020 Smart21 list, based on quantitative and qualitative data, evaluated against a framework that looks at initiatives around broadband, the knowledge workforce, innovation, digital equality, sustainability and advocacy.

This year is the first time two New Zealand cities have made the Smart21 list, with Wellington also included.

Hannah Kelly, Whanganui & Partners' strategic lead of capability and international, said the designation reflects the value Whanganui's leaders have put on developing a city prepared for the future.

"We were an early adopter of high speed broadband and saw the benefits of that," Kelly said.

"For instance, the IT company Proaxiom chose to move their headquarters here from Wellington in 2015, in large part because of our advantages around broadband.

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READ MORE:
Whanganui tops Intelligent Community Forum list of smaller communities adapting to digital economy
Whanganui District Council consulting on draft digital strategy
Smart 21 no show a lost opportunity, deputy mayor says
Whanganui named a 'smart community' for fifth consecutive year

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"Initiatives like the Resource Recovery Centre gave us an edge in the sustainability category too, which the recent Most Beautiful City Award also highlighted.

"We want our community to be prepared for the challenges as well as the opportunities of the next 50 years. The Smart21 designation is a good indicator that we're on the right track."

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Seven of the Smart21 Communities will be named the Top7 Intelligent Communities of 2020 on February 10 in Taoyuan, Taiwan. One of those seven will be crowned the Intelligent Community of the Year at the 2020 ICF Global Summit next June.