Fairlawn Named One of the Intelligent Community Forum’s Smart21 Communities
Fairlawn One of Only Four US Communities Named
Fairlawn, Ohio – On Wednesday February 24th, the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) named the world’s Smart21 Communities of 2021. Selections are made based on the six principles of the ICF Method which weighs the efforts a community makes toward innovative solutions for both economic and social/ cultural growth, which together make a community strong and resilient. The Smart21 Communities event includes regions, cities, and towns from eight different countries, only four communities were from the United States.
“We’re honored to be selected as a Smart21 community,” says Fairlawn Mayor William J. Roth Jr. “This is part of a nearly decade-long journey to make Fairlawn a destination and home for innovation. The establishment of FairlawnGig is just a small part of what makes Fairlawn a special place to live and work.”
FairlawnGig is a municipal broadband utility that began serving the community in 2016 with fiber-based internet service at gigabit speeds. The network was financed by the City in an effort to not only attract and retain businesses, but also to enable smart solutions that would enhance residents’ standard of living.
“Establishing a municipal broadband utility, FairlawnGig, was just a step in our journey of becoming a smarter community to create countless opportunities,” explains Ernie Staten Director of Public Service for Fairlawn. “FairlawnGig is a pathway for deeper community partnerships that produce significant social and economic impacts for Fairlawn.”
The announcement was made from the ICF’s New York City headquarters where co-founder Lou Zacharilla explained, “Despite the great challenges facing most of these communities in 2020, the work to create Intelligent Communities went forward with an eye on inclusion, diversity and economic progress in a post-COVID world.”
FairlawnGig is a municipal broadband utility established by the City of Fairlawn that delivers a better Internet experience for residents and businesses in Fairlawn and the Akron/Bath/Fairlawn JEDD. FairlawnGig’s high-speed fiber network offers an unprecedented level of Internet service to the Fairlawn area with a gigabit fiber connection to every home and business. The City of Fairlawn established FairlawnGig as a forward-thinking, economic development strategy founded on the belief that business growth, innovation, and community transformation will follow with every connection.
About the Intelligent Community Forum
The Intelligent Community Forum (www.intelligentcommunity.org), headquartered in New York, is a global movement of 180 cities, metro regions and counties with a think tank at its heart and a mission to make everyone’s “hometown” at great place. ICF studies and promotes the best practices of the world’s Intelligent Communities as they adapt to the new demands and seize the opportunities presented by information and communications technology (ICT). To help cities and regions build prosperous economies, solve social problems and enrich local cultures, the Intelligent Community Forum conducts research, hosts events around the globe, publishes books, and produces its high-profile annual international awards program. The Forum sponsors research Institutes in North America dedicated to the study of the movement, and national organizations in Canada and Taiwan, both home to many Intelligent Communities. In 2012 ICF was invited to participate at the Nobel Peace Prize conference in Oslo and in 2014, its model and work was recognized by the U.S. Department of Commerce under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, which, according to the American government, was “aimed at creating a more flexible and responsive system of workforce development to meet the needs of employers looking to fill 21st century jobs.” The Forum’s membership is made up of 180 designated Intelligent Communities worldwide. For more details on the Intelligent Community Forum’s recent publications and programs, www.intelligentcommunity.org.