The World Foundation for Smart Communities
A Smart Community is a community that has made a conscious effort to use information technology to transform life and work within its region in significant and fundamental, rather than incremental, ways.
The World Foundation for Smart Communities is a nonprofit educational organization founded to promote the concept and facilitate the implementation of “smart communities” — communities using information technology as a catalyst for transforming life and work to meet the challenge of the new millennium.
Founded in 1997, the Foundation operates in partnership with the California Institute for Smart Communities at San Diego State University. The Institute chaired and staffed the first City of the Future initiative in 1992, wrote the Smart Communities Guidebook, and developed the smart communities program for the state of California in 1996.
Unlike towns and cities of an earlier era, built along railroads, waterways, or interstate highways, smart communities will be build along information highways — broadband systems of communications connected to every home, office school, library and health care facility in the region and through the World Wide Web, to millions of other institutions across the globe. Most striking is that these information-age metropolises are not cities or counties or townships in the usual sense. They are instead powerful regional economies built on a shared sense of mission and a recognition of the values of collaboration and cooperation. Nor is their future dependent upon cyberspace, the Internet or the World Wide Web for their existence. Smart communities are real places inhabited by real people whose interests and needs have changed as all things are changing or must change in the face of a dramatic shift in the basic structure of the world’s economy and society. Today as the world moves swiftly into a new century, critical issues are being raised regarding the role of communities the world over. To help public sector leaders at the national, state and local levels successfully navigate this uncharted new territory, the World Foundation for Smart Communities was launched in August of 1997.
The goals and objectives of the World Foundation are accomplished in part by providing a worldwide forum for corporations, government, academe, associations and community leaders to meet and discuss the best applications of IT in emerging smart communities, and innovations in governance, particularly private/public partnerships. Additionally, seminars, tutorials, and a “boot camp” for key government and community leaders, and a clearinghouse of smart community projects are accessible along with reports, monographs, white papers and other articles of interest.
The foundation, through the Institute and its other academic partners worldwide provides:
- Seminars for industry, the general public, and nonprofit associations, as well as tailored educational conferences and seminars for local and state governments
- Research reports, monographs, and other informational reports on applications of technology and innovations in governance of special interest to businesses and governments following smart communities development
- Consulting services related to technology infrastructure and assessment, procurement and the development of private/public partnerships, development of vision and mission statements and related smart community matters