ICF Top 7 Intelligent Communities – Ipswich (Queensland, Australia)
The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) releases an annual selection of seven different communities which it considers to have achieved a certain level of intelligence in the way they respond to the challenges of globalization and urbanization or, as the ICF prefers to call it, the Broadband Economy. The selection of communities for 2018 was released in February, and can be found listed on the bee smart city website. The Intelligent Community of the Year will be chosen from among the Top 7 and announced at the ICF Global Summit in June.
Will it be Ipswich, Australia?
The city of Ipswich is young – that is to say, it has the youngest population on average in all of Queensland, Australia – and it is also growing faster than any other city in the state. Currently boasting around 200,000 inhabitants, its government projects that almost another three hundred thousand people will call the city home within the next twenty years, more than doubling its population and ensuring a need for an estimated 120,000 new employment opportunities. In preparation for this expansion, the Ipswich City Council created a twenty-year plan for the development of the city. Now in 2018, seven years later, the council has decided to extend its original plans by setting up a Smart City Program to direct the city’s growth. This kind of carefully guided development is possibly the reason it has been on the radar of the ICF since 2010, and is now in the running for Intelligent Community of the Year 2018.