published Friday, June 3rd, 2011

City seeks label as world’s ‘smartest’


• Chattanooga

• Dublin, Ohio

• Eindhoven, Netherlands

• Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

• Riverside, Calif.

• Stratford, Canada

• Windsor-Essex, Canada

Source: Intelligent Community Forum

Chattanooga vies today with six other cities worldwide for the so-called “smartest city” title given by a New York-based think tank.

With Chattanooga’s ultra-fast Internet connectivity seen as a key, Mayor Ron Littlefield leads a local delegation in New York City with hopes of picking up the top spot.

The Intelligent Community Forum, an economic and social development think tank, earlier picked Chattanooga and the other locations from a list of 21 cities it named last year.

Chris Daly, director of technology development and transfer at Chattanooga’s Enterprise Center, said landing on the Forum’s short list is a recognition of what the city has done and how far it has come.

“We know we’ve done a lot and made a lot of progress,” he said. “It helps when you get outside validation.”

Chattanooga’s ranking in ICF’s top seven was bolstered by EPB’s fully accessible, 1-gigabit residential Internet service, officials said. Also mentioned was improved air quality, downtown revitalization and better standards for secondary education with integrated career training.

J.Ed. Marston, the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce’s vice president of marketing, said the city has come a long way. He cited air quality, noting the city this week received notice that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency determined that Chattanooga complied with regulations for levels of fine particulates such as dust or soot.

“We’ve come a long way,” he said. In 1969, EPA designated Chattanooga as the “dirtiest air” city in the country.

Last month, ICF’s selection process entered its final stage when a team of independent academic experts visited the seven cities. They surveyed the cities’ technological infrastructure and gauged the impact of each in powering growth, addressing social challenges and preserving and promoting culture.

Ken Hays, a partner in former Mayor Jon Kinsey’s Chattanooga development firm that helped get the word out about the city’s status, said every other city on the final list had previously been nominated or participated in ICF’s competition.

“This is Chattanooga’s first time and we’ve made it to the top seven,” he said.

Hays said the Scenic City already is a winner no matter what happens today.

“It was a great collaborative process of people working together,” he said.

Last year’s winner was Suwon, South Korea. Other winners in the past decade included Stockholm, Sweden; Waterloo, Canada; Taipei, Taiwan; Glasgow, Scotland; and New York City.

about Mike Pare...

Mike Pare, the deputy Business editor at the Chattanooga Times Free Press, has worked at the paper for 27 years. In addition to editing, Mike also writes Business stories and covers Volkswagen, economic development and manufacturing in Chattanooga and the surrounding area. In the past he also has covered higher education. Mike, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Florida Atlantic University. he worked at the Rome News-Tribune before ...

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bpqd said...

The sponsoring organization's website shows that this is about hookups for broadband internet. Specifically, they want to promote broadband internet for commerce.

As in, their commerce: using the Internet to get themselves paid by gathering intelligence on us.

They state that they believe, "In the broadband economy, adaptability outweighs legacy; skills, not resources, are the key to future; and innovation, not location, creates a competitive advantage."

That sounds great at first, but look at what that's telling us about finance.

They don't value property. They're against Owner's Equity.

When they say, "skills, not resources," they are talking about making promises for future sales, and putting our community in debt. That's the way things are done these days; corporations shun property holding and ethical, legal business transactions. Instead, claims against us, through excessive debt, become their own form of currency.

This is about making us rats in a wheel, thanks to the Internet.

It's not about intelligence, community, or being the smartest.

In practice, this organization doesn't seem to equate intelligence to "smart." Instead, they seem to be using the word "intelligence" to mean the acquisition of information. It seems as if that acquisition is for someone else's benefit, not ours, and the information they're gaining is about how we are going to use our money.

For these reasons, I feel the labels and terms used to discuss these efforts are misleading. This is not about promoting us as being smart. It's about putting corporate tentacles up into us, where our privacy ought to lie.

No wonder Mayor Littlefield is up there in New York. He's probably selling us out, right now. It's no surprise that one of the last three self-serving, commercial real estate swindlers who have been mayor, is having one of his boys promote this campaign.

They are using us to cash in, again. It's not about making us look smart at all. It's about the local rich using us to make themselves get richer.

Too bad they don't believe in equity. Our nation's financial laws are predicated on the idea that honestly trading in goods and services to support civilization is what commerce is for. Too bad our guys can't try to offer a genuine good or service. Instead, it's much cheaper for them to shut down businesses, cash in their paper so that they can go snowboarding or whatever, and lay off everybody. Then, when there's no work, they can use Internet cookies to speculate on what we'll buy to eat or survive.

Instead of treating us like abstract numbers in a video game, Chattanooga's businessmen would do well to get back to business. Too bad our Republican Party politicians are too busy serving themselves to lead businessmen in the correct direction.

Another self-payment scheme from Chattanooga's unethical politicos.

June 3, 2011 at 9:24 a.m.
Leaf said...

OK, I like Chattanooga and all, but there is no way in hell that we deserve a label of "smartest." Look at our educational system. I hope our corrupt Chattanooga politicians didn't spend much of our tax money trying to buy this meaningless award.

June 3, 2011 at 4:25 p.m.
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