Think Tank awarded Columbus the designation Thursday in a ceremony in Toronto
We're smart, y'all! We're so smart we saw this coming. You might recall the think tank Intelligent Community Forum named Columbus one of the world's most intelligent communities back in 2013 (the only U.S. city on the list), and even back then we knew it was only a matter of time before we toppled everyone else. Well, move aside all other cities. All your smarts are belong to us. On Thursday night, the think tank named Columbus the world's smartest. So what wowed the international jury and research company? What didn't is more like it, right? ICF cited the city's "rebirth of hope" and "revolutionary community" approach to new ideas and its relentless embrace of new ideas. If the American Midwest wants to see similar rebirth, they should look to us, ICF said. Columbus was selected after a year-long evaluation, the release said, that included a quantitative analysis of extensive data, site inspections by ICF and votes from an international jury made up of experts from around the world. Also specifically signaled out in the release were TechColumbus, the cultural revitalization of East Franklinton, moves to make higher education more accessible for low-income residents and the city's regional approach to economic development with other former Top7 Intelligent Communities like Dublin, Ohio. From the release: "All of the Top7 communities this year have been building model Intelligent Communities," said co-founder Lou Zacharilla in the press release. "After three years in the Top7, however, Columbus clearly demonstrated that planning and performance have made it a place with 'an inner go.' It is a revolutionary community in the truest sense. Mayor Michael Coleman and the citizens of that great town are leading Ohio, the USA and the Intelligent Community movement from an industrial economy to a knowledge-based one." Zacharilla added that Columbus has a solid broadband infrastructure, effective research institutions and a local government that has perfected the art of enabling each of its knowledge assets to collaborate. "But they know," he added, "that there is still work to be done in Columbus. However the direction is impressively forward."