Mississauga not quite as ‘intelligent’ as Winnipeg, global think tank concludes

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Published November 3, 2021 at 12:25 pm

For this year, anyway, Mississauga must settle for being among the top seven most intelligent communities in the world according to a global think tank.  

But at least the city that was named Intelligent Community of the Year last week by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) also sits on Canadian soil. 

Winnipeg bested Mississauga, Moscow, Curitiba (Brazil), Townsville (Queensland, Australia), Binh Duong (Vietnam) and Langley Township (British Columbia) to take home this year’s honour.  

The Manitoba capital placed in the top seven in 2014 through 2016 before taking top spot last week at the ICF Summit 2021: Communities on the Verge. 

Mississauga, meanwhile, was among the seven finalists for the first time. 

“I thought we had it. So, fingers crossed we’ll be in the running again next year,” Mayor Bonnie Crombie told insauga.com publisher Khaled Iwamura in an Instagram interview yesterday.  

“Maybe you just don’t win the first time…it might take a couple more,” continued Crombie, adding the lesson to be learned from Winnipeg is pretty simple. 

“Keep trying,” she laughed.  

City of Mississauga officials say while they may not have earned top spot, “…as the City continues to use technology to bridge the digital divide and enhance quality of life through technology, everybody wins.” 

ICF, a global network with a think tank at its centre, hosted ICF Summit 2021: Communities on the Verge from Oct. 26-28. The organization connects hundreds of cities and regions on five continents for collaboration on economic development and for exchange of expertise and information that drives progress.  

In naming Mississauga one of the Top 7 Intelligent Communities in July, the ICF described the city as “a suburb of Toronto, (but) a business and technology centre in its own right.”
Its description of Mississauga continued, noting “the city grew into Canada’s sixth-most populous municipality in the second half of the 20th century as it attracted a large multicultural population around its thriving central business district. Mississauga is home to Canada’s busiest airport as well as many of the nation’s major corporations.”  

The ICF also takes note of Mississauga’s other attributes.  

“Outside the business district, the city also has an impressive arts community and is home to many major festivals, including Carassauga, the second-largest culture festival in Canada. Many of these festivals take place in Mississauga’s Celebration Square, the city’s recently restructured and vibrant Civic Square. Mississauga began as a collection of many hamlets and villages, each with their own distinct cultural offerings, that have led to the city’s rich and diverse heritage and cultural offerings today.”  

ICF officials say the theme of this year’s summit, “communities on the verge,” was timely given that towns and cities around the world have found themselves in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic for some 18 months now.  

“Following the most disruptive year in modern history, communities are on the verge. Unforeseen challenges have shown the contrast between communities resilient enough to overcome them…and those that are falling behind,” officials say. 

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