Becoming an Intelligent Community

Hudson Named One of the Global Top7 Intelligent Communities

The City of Hudson is honored to be named a Top7 Intelligent Community of 2020 by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) for the second year in a row.

“This is a significant achievement, and we are very proud to be recognized by ICF,” said Jim Stifler, Hudson’s Chief Economic Officer. “It solidifies the efforts that we have made as a City to embrace innovation and technology while we strive to create a distinct competitive advantage for Hudson, the business community and our citizens.”

The global Top7 list recognizes communities that have showcased economic and social transformation in the 21st Century and that demonstrate best practices in broadband deployment and use, workforce development, innovation, digital inclusion and advocacy. The list includes communities from Australia, Canada, Estonia and the United States. Hudson is one of only two US cities to make ICF’s list, with the other being Westerville, Ohio.

“The community’s attributes speak for itself,” said Hudson City Manager Jane Howington. “The innovation, the digital equality, the sustainability, the advocacy – all of these things were already here and being implemented to solve problems, and we are very proud to have our efforts be recognized by such an influential organization like ICF.”

The ICF Top7 Intelligent Communities of the Year list was narrowed down from the Smart21 list, which was announced in October 2019 from more than 500 submissions that spanned six continents. As part of Hudson’s Top7 submission to ICF, the City highlighted strong community projects likes the Hudson City School District’s Portrait of an Explorer and its extensive training of students for 21st century jobs as well as the Hudson Library & Historical Society’s new creativity lab, internet hot spots for checkout and lifelong learning opportunities that promote digital inclusion for all. Other efforts highlighted included the community collaboration in the preservation and restoration of historic buildings, such as the 1912 Hudson Middle School and the Baldwin-Buss House, and more.

As part of the Top7 Intelligent Communities, Hudson is now in the running to be named ICF’s Intelligent Community of the Year, which will be announced in June. The winner will be based on a second round of analysis, the votes of an international jury and on in-person visits to all of the Top7 cities. Hudson will be visited by members of ICF so they can see first-hand the innovative programs that have been implemented. ICF’s visit to Hudson has not yet been scheduled.

Read the ICF's press release detailing all Top7 winners here.

More about the ICF Intelligent Community Awards Program
Before being selected as a Top7 Intelligent Community, these communities were among those named to ICF’s list of the Smart21 Communities of the Year. The Smart21 were named in October 2019 at a conference in Rochester, New York, USA.

Candidates are evaluated based on seven criteria that make up the ICF Method, which provides a framework for understanding all of the factors that determine a community's competitiveness and point to its success in the digital economy.

The Intelligent Community Forum Awards Program concludes in Dublin, Ohio, USA on June 18 during the Intelligent Community Forum’s Global Summit conference, when one of the Top7 Intelligent Communities succeeds Taoyuan, Taiwan as the new Intelligent Community of the Year. The announcement will be made live at a dinner at the Ohio Statehouse for delegations from intelligent communities around the world and international media.

About The Process

"The process of submitting the Smart21 and Top7 applications was an eye opening experience. We already knew Hudson was innovative, smart, and an exceptional place to live, work, and play – but not to the extent that was uncovered during this process. The City had been striving to become an intelligent community and that is reflected in many of its initiatives. However, the application process helped us step outside of local government and take a look at all the amazing things our community organizations, local schools, businesses, and more have been working on.

Through this process, we have gained a deeper connection and collaboration with the community. We will continue to strengthen this relationship as we drive the Smart City initiative together. This is absolutely a community effort, and we look forward to the continued collaboration beyond. We have a pattern and a vocabulary now, and are ready to set goals for the future and attain those goals as a community to position Hudson for the future."

– Paul Leedham, Chief Innovation Officer

Past Recognition

  • 2020 Smart21 Announcement: Hudson was named as one of the world’s Smart21 Communities of 2020. This is the third year in a row in which Hudson has been honored for its leadership in innovation.
  • 2019 Top7 Announcement: Hudson was named a Top7 Intelligent Community of 2019. The global 2019 Top7 list included communities from the United States, Canada, Australia, and Taiwan. 
  • 2019 Smart21 Announcement: Hudson was one of just four U.S. cities selected as a Smart21 Community of 2019. This the second year in a row that Hudson received this honor.
  • 2018 Smart21 Announcement: Out of more than 400 applicants, Hudson was proud to be the only U.S. City selected as a Smart21 Community of 2018.

What Makes Hudson an
Intelligent Community?

The City is collaborating with local schools, organizations, and businesses to foster a greater sharing of knowledge and technology, to achieve efficiencies, and work toward common goals. Learn how the community has come together to create an intelligent community below.
More stories coming soon.

Solar Education

Barlow Community Solar Education Center

Take Back Day

Drug Safe Hudson


ForTec Medical

Digital Equality Hudson City Schools

Hudson City Schools 

Hudson Library

Hudson Library


Innovate Hudson: Hack18

Taste of Hudson

Leadership Hudson

RAMCO Renderings

RAMCO Specialties, Inc.

Seton Students

Seton Catholic School

WRA Wang Innovation Center

Western Reserve Academy