Five cities and counties in Taiwan -- Chiayi, Keelung, Tainan and Taoyuan cities and Yilan County -- were named Wednesday among the world's Smart21 Communities of 2017 by the New York-based Intelligent Community Forum (ICF).
Also included were seven communities from Canada, four from Australia and one each from Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.
These 21 finalists will vie for a place in the Top 7 Intelligent Communities of 2017 in February, which will lead up to the Intelligent Community of the Year award in June.
According to the ICF, the Smart21 list is a group of cities, counties and rural communities that have decided to apply digital tools to building local economies and societies so that they can prosper in an age of "digital disruption."
ICF co-founder Louis Zacharilla said the inclusion of Moscow is a surprise, because the list rarely includes the biggest cities with global reputations.
"The Smart21 list always has a few surprises," said Zacharilla while making the announcement. "This one definitely does."
He also noted that Canada, Taiwan and Australia have central governments that tend to work more closely with communities to unleash "the power of the local."
"We find that it is the ones who collaborate with national or state governments, fly under the radar, and are 'no name' communities to most of the world that are most innovative and aggressive," said ICF co-founder John Jung.
"They are not afraid of new ideas and use strategies proven by Intelligent Communities around the world. They are places that the rest of the world can learn from and offer hope to people who are fighting hard to launch a new future, and create early stage investment opportunities to the outside world." he added.
Source: Overseas Community Affairs Council