ICF Renaissance Dialogue Series

An audio interview series that features ICF’s founders in dialogues with prominent planners, visionaries and leaders from cities and towns worldwide who are transforming their places into those that use technology to become attractive homes for everyone. Click on an image to listen to the episode or click here for the full series.

Jennifer Keesmaat:

Toronto Chief Planner

From Revolution

to Renaissance


Preparing for the future has never been easy.  It has seldom been harder, however, than it is today.


We already live in a world where the largest taxi company on earth owns no vehicles.  Where the world’s most popular media owner creates no content, the largest accommodation provider owns no real estate and the most valuable retailer stocks no inventory.  Those companies are, respectively, Uber, FaceBook, Airbnb and Alibaba, according to Tom Goodwin, writing for TechCrunch.com. 


Their businesses were made possible by the enormous growth of the Internet, and they are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the radical changes that this network-of-networks is driving through how we live, work, shop, travel, worship, educate and entertain ourselves.  

Interactivity Changes Everything

Vision, Community, Technology

Planning for

a Disruptive 



If broadband becomes as important as the street or sidewalk, how will it change the places we live and work?


What's the difference being a city being Smart and a city being Intelligent?


As technology revolutionizes the place called home, urban and rural planning is changing to keep pace.

Commentary & News

From the Intelligent Community Forum and news outlets around the world:


Reinvention in the Rust Belt,” The Economist, July 11, 2015

Cities like Gary, Indiana are recovering by using their geographical advantages (meaning, these days, tourism and logistics rather than geology) and building as much as possible on “anchor” institutions such as universities and hospitals. 


"Why the Toronto Waterfront is Thoughtful, Modern Urbanism at its Best," by Alex Bozikovic, The Globe and Mail, June 12, 2015

The project reorganizes traffic: car and streetcar lanes are together in the middle, with wider sidewalks on both sides.  A bike path runs along the broad south side of the street... 


"How Do You Govern a Disrupted World?" by Richard Dobbs, James Manyika and Jonathan Woetzel, McKinsey & Company, 2015
The collission of four fundamental economic forces - urbanization, technology, demographics and globalization - is producing monumental change.  Just as many businesses are being forced to reassess their strategy, government must do the same...


"Europe’s Smart Harbourfront Makeovers,” by Rick Stevens, Toronto Sun, March 22, 2015

If there's an industrial wasteland where a great European city hits the water — London, Berlin, Amsterdam, you name it — it's slated for a major makeover. Derelict areas on the wrong side of the river — what in the US might be called "the wrong side of the tracks" — are being rejuvenated with modern buildings and fresh greenery.


"City of Water," by Kevin Baker, The New York Times, October 12, 2013

Under Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the city rezoned nearly 40 percent of the city's landmass to reconnect with the harbor and vastly improve quality of life...  


Nominate Your Community

Cities and regions large and small, from every continent, have qualfied as an ICF Intelligent Community through our free awards program.  They receive global recognition of their achievement and public endorsement for their efforts that rewards the hard work of citizens, organizations and local government.  Visit the nominations page for details and a nomination form.

About ICF

The Intelligent Community Forum is a global network of cities and regions with a think tank at its center. It studies and shares the best practices of cities and regions and use information and communications technology to build inclusive prosperity, solve social problems and enrich quality of life.  In addition to its Awards program, ICF publishes content, provides workshops and manages a global membership.

Top7 Community:

Montreal, QC, Canada

Smart21 Community:

Whanganui, New Zealand