… Waterloo is the smartest city in the world
From the Waterloo Chronicle:
Waterloo might not be the centre of the universe, but it is the world’s most intelligent community as selected by an international think-tank last Friday.
Waterloo Mayor Brenda Halloran said there was a buzz about the city’s bid before it was announced as the winner at the Intelligent Communities Forum in New York City, N.Y. The excitement was still contagious as local participants celebrated their selection and were reached on their BlackBerrys just moments after the announcement.
“The city is proud,” said Halloran. “This is a wonderful day for the City of Waterloo.
“It’s a day we should all celebrate as a community.”
Of course, the BlackBerry and its parent company Research in Motion are some of the reasons Waterloo was selected to be on a short-list of seven cities up for the annual honour. The mobile communication device has become synonymous with the city as it became the tool of choice for business, government and CrackBerry users around the world.
However, it was the city’s education sector and its ability to move ideas into commercial applications that has led to the high-tech revolution in Waterloo. And the Intelligent Communities Forum noted that while Waterloo only accounts for 10 per cent of the labour force in Canada’s Technology Triangle, it accounts for 45 per cent of the job growth and 40 per cent of the high-tech firms in the region.
“People wondered how we could do so much,” said Halloran, as Waterloo was once again the smallest city in the running going against areas like Ottawa-Gatineau. “We were up against some huge competition.”
Waterloo’s importance in the commercialization of new ideas and leadership in the knowledge-based economy was also acknowledged by a visit from Prime Minister Stephen Harper last Thursday, when the federal government launched it’s new science and technology initiative.
The Intelligent Community Forum said Waterloo’s success illustrates the power of getting a few critical things right and then pulling together to help nurture those success stories. The forum also acknowledged how Waterloo’s entrepreneurs, educators and government officials worked together to build for the future with projects like the University of Waterloo Research and Technology Park.
For Coun. Mark Whaley the stars were all aligned after Waterloo made the top 7 communities list at last year’s Intelligent Community Forum awards in Hawaii. He said members of this year’s committee learned a lot from last year’s experience.
More important than the kudos, is the way this win will put Waterloo on the map. Whaley said it should be a boost to the area’s economic development, and help attract the knowledge workers needed in the new economy.
“This gives them a great tool to market the city when they’re trying to entice knowledge workers to come to Waterloo,” he said. “That’s what it’s all about for me… I’m particularly happy for those organizations, agencies and businesses that need these knowledge workers.”
Benjamin Bach is a Sales Representative with Keller Williams Golden Triangle Realty in Kitchener Waterloo. Benjamin moved to Waterloo in 2005 and loves the city. He wakes up each morning excited to fulfil his mission of building wealth for great lives through comprehensive Real Estate investment planning, and helping people achieve success.
If you are interested in how you can start your Real Estate Investment portfolio, have any questions about buying a home or selling a home in the Waterloo Region, or are looking for a tip on a good restaurant in town, please email Benjamin (benjamin(AT)benjaminbach.com) or call him at 519 570 4447.