Winnipeg is among the world's top seven most intelligent communities, according to New York-based Intelligent Community Forum. Two other Canadian cities made the think-tank's list: Montreal, Quebec and Surrey, B.C.

Winnipeg was chosen because it is a model of economic and social transformation, said the the group.

"In the 21st Century, the city is pursuing economic growth by better connecting industry and education, while better equipping its large aboriginal population for opportunity," said Intelligent Community Forum's website.

Intelligent Community Forum highlighted the University of Winnipeg's Wii Chiiwaakanak Learning Centre and Winnipeg Public Libraries as ways the city has improved access to digital technology for inner-city residents. 

The group also called Winnipeg's support for film and arts as well as economic partnerships between agriculture and industry in the city as models for other communities to follow.

"Home to North America's oldest ballet company, Winnipeg ... has a thriving arts and culture scene.  An independent film from two Winnipegers, Indie Game: The Movie, won awards at the Sundance Festival and was a New York Times Critic's Pick," said the think-tank.

In its annual top seven list, Intelligent Community Forum said it highlights communities that exemplify the best ways to foster development in areas like: innovation, broadband use and digital inclusion.

Top seven Intelligent Communities of 2016, according to the Intelligent Community Forum:

  • Hsinchu County, Taiwan
  • Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • Muelheim an der Ruhr, Germany
  • New Taipei City, Taiwan
  • Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
  • Whanganui, New Zealand
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

The Intelligent Community Forum said all seven cities are "charting new paths to lasting prosperity for their citizens, businesses and institutions."