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Last Updated: Friday, 26 October 2007, 11:32 GMT 12:32 UK
Global recognition for smart city
Fibre optic cables and word map
Dundee made it into the top seven intelligent communities last year
A Scottish city has been named one of the smartest on the planet by some of the world's leading digital experts.

Dundee is one of only two places in the UK to make it onto the top 21, along with the Isle of Man.

All the locations are now in the running for the title of 2008 Intelligent Community of the Year.

Dundee made the short list last year because of its success redeveloping its economy to focus on the games industry and life sciences.

The awards are organised by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF), a New York-based think tank.

It said the city had "continued to transform a former shipbuilding community that suffered severe economic shocks into a national powerhouse and leader in game design and sciences".

The launch of a "digital observatory" project in 2007 helped secure the city's place in the Smart21.

Digital age

Sustainability was a criteria in this year's entry process, which saw submissions from hundreds of locations.

ICF chairman John Jung said: "Gaining a place among the Smart21 is the first step toward greater recognition as a community or region that is either positioning itself to prosper, or already is prospering in the digital age.

"This year we found that communities have passed a threshold, and no longer question whether broadband is a key to success, but are attempting to take steps to use the technology to move forward in order to 'future proof' themselves and ensure sustainability."

Dundee City Council's economic development convenor welcomed the ICF's recognition of the city's "progress towards a knowledge based and technologically innovative economy".

Councillor Joe Morrow added: "Inclusion in the 2008 Smart 21 shows that every effort is still being made to drive the city forward and lead, not just Scotland, but the world in fields including computer gaming and life sciences."

The top seven Intelligent Communities of the Year will be revealed in January, with the overall winner announced in May.

Among the places competing with Dundee are entries from Tallinn and the Gangnam District of Seoul, which also made last year's shortlist.

The title for 2007 was awarded to Waterloo in Canada, where the Blackberry was invented.

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