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You can't win 'em all: Riverside, CA, not Austin, selected as Most Intelligent City of 2012

You can't win 'em all: Riverside, CA, not Austin, selected as Most Intelligent City of 2012

Austin skyline
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Austin, apparently is not the most intelligent community in the world. That is, according to the Intelligent Community Forum, who declared Riverside, California top of their annual list of smartest cities, a contest our city qualified as a finalist for.

We already know how great the city is, and these accolades do less to remind current Austinites of that greatness than they do to attract outsiders.

But we didn’t win, and thank God for that. We’ve been a part of so many, “Wow, your city is cool” lists lately that it’s difficult to keep track of them all.

We already know how great the city is, and at this point, these accolades do less to remind current Austinites of that greatness than they do to attract outsiders to our already crowded ecosystem.

None the less, congratulations are in order for the city of Riverside, Ca. Their victory marks the first time in five years that a North American city has taken home the honor, and the first time in 10 years that a U.S. city has accepted the award.

Thanks to a city task force in 2004, Riverside embraced a present but not yet matured tech segment of their population. Utilizing their fiber optic broadband internet, the city built a free Wi-Fi network that uses 1,600 different access points to provide an impressive 1 Mbps connection throughout the city.

Community-driven, technology awareness campaigns are what catapulted Riverside to the top of the ICF’s list.

“[Riverside is] an example of yet another community many left for dead,” ICF co-founder Louis Zacharilla said of the 2012 winner, “but which has fought all the way back, using its collective will power and intelligence to prove, once again, that there is a great revival taking place among the world’s cities, towns and regions.”

So maybe we’re not the most intelligent city in the world... But we’re still pretty damn smart.

With one of the highest patent-per-capita rates in the nation, and home to one of IBM’s most productive offices, it’s safe to say Austinites are pretty damn intelligent. Maybe not,free Wi-Fi for everyone smart, but we do all right.

Hopefully this award will play like a PSA for any would-be Austin transplants: The Silicon Hills are filling up, but there are six other cities around the world that would love to have you.