An “intelligent” city is one that underlines the importance of innovation, focuses on the quality of local communities, amenities, and smart incentives that will help promote discovery.
It is a city that has an active labor market with a sustainable employment, has an edge for environmental sustainability and alternative energy sources, and strives to reduce its environmental footprint.
Conceptualizing what is a “smart” city is very easy once you visit one. It’s a city with a transit system that is efficient, and intuitively placed amenities that are relatable to the locals. Smart cities are able to sustain the economy and offer solutions to the rapid urbanization of the area.
To help conceptualize what makes a smart city just that – smart, there are key factors that help separate it from other cities.
- Smarter cities have clusters of facilities that focus on innovation. These sort of cities provide open platforms that offer experimentation and smart infrastructure. You find that many of these midsized cities are anointed with reputable colleges and universities.
- Smart cities constantly orchestrate community building. Smart cities have centers of community-based problem-solving and collaboration.
- They enable citizens to tap into smart intelligence. A smart city offers incentives for its citizens to invest in renewable technology in the form of solar cell installation, smart waste management, and energy-saving city lamps. Smart cities evolve to have a noticeable integration between community intelligence, technological advancement, and cognitive competence.
A mid-sized city offers all the benefits of larger cities but still have a low-key, rural feel to it. It’s a city that has all your amenities close by but don’t require you to elbow through throngs of people for you to reach them.
Here are 10 of the most intelligent midsized cities in the United States that offer a bit of the city feel with a down-to-earth edge.
10. Chapel Hill, North Carolina
A hub of reputable schools and healthcare centers, Chapel Hill in North Carolina makes up part of the region’s “Research Triangle”, which is home to high-tech companies and enterprises. The educated workforce of Chapel Hill has historically provided a major attraction for innovative individuals and businesses.
Mark Kleinschmidt is the first openly gay mayor in Chapel Hill’s history, noting for the region’s desire for diversity and representation. Chapel Hill is home to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Founded in 1793, the university is one of the oldest institutions that continues to contribute to the region to this day.
Several alumni from this prestigious university have come forth to support undergraduate students who are committed to public service. Several fellowship programs offer monetary support for exemplary students.
Spearheading innovation, the North Carolina Idea is a private foundation committed to supporting the entrepreneurial spirit of Chapel Hill’s residents. NCI has granted 6 startups with a total of $300,000 to help jumpstart innovation in industries like health diagnostics, sports-related concussions, and water purification technology.
The University of Carolina, the Carolina Basketball Museum, and the North Carolina Botanical Garden offers educational and leisure access for Chapel Hill’s residents. Fred Brooks, Owen Astrachan, and Paul Jones are a few of dozens of notable computer scientists and technologists.
9. Lawrence, Kansas
Lawrence is the 6th largest city in the state of Kansas. Lawrence has consistently been the political hub of the region. Even its founding has political ties – in 1854, the New England Emigrant Aid Society founded the city to help hinder slavery. For this reason, there are several underground railroad stations, including one located in Lawrence’s Fire Station #4.
Ensuring that everyone partakes in local and national politics, advocacy groups like the League of Women Voters continuously launch campaigns to educate young citizens in Kansas. Even though Lawrence tends to attract political conversations, it is also a cultural center influenced by history and creative arts.
The Lawrence Arts Center and the Lawrence Community Theater are the creative heart of Lawrence. The Lawrence Community Theater offer 6 major productions each season, ranging from works by local screenwriters and popular musicals.
The University of Kansas is the largest public University in the state, with one of its main branch being located in Lawrence. The school of Law In the University of Kansas is consistently heralded as a top graduate school in the county.