Piece of cake for Dundee in battle of bright cities

It’s official. Dundee is one of the top seven cleverest places on the planet.

The New York-based think tank the Intelligent Community Forum has named the east coast Scottish city (also home to the delicious Dundee cake, pictured) as one of the 2010 Top Seven Intelligent Communities of the Year.

Could it be the almonds on the cake fuelling the brain cells? Not really, says the ICF. In 1991, Dundee began a comeback from decades of post-industrial decline with the founding of The Dundee Partnership, a public-private joint venture that rebuilt the waterfront and led development of a knowledge economy. 

Today, the city is known for its clusters of life science, computer gaming, software and animation companies. 

Dundee has also become the home of an annual Dare to be Digital competition that brings talented young developers to the city to showcase video game prototypes. 

The 3i group is investing £30 million in laying fibre optic cable throughout the city sewer network. 

While the recession has trimmed overall employment 2% from 2004 to 2009, employment in the knowledge economy grew 5% over the period.

The other communities to make the top seven – together with their famous cakes – are:

Arlington County, Virginia, USA (crab cakes)

Dublin, Ohio, USA (Shaker lemon pie)

Eindhoven, Netherlands (Appelflap – well, it sounds great, doesn't it?)

Ottowa, Ontario, Canada (Johnny cake)

Suwon, South Korea (Tteok – rice flour cakes)

Tallinn, Estonia (Shrove Tuesday buns)

“The Top Seven of 2010 have demonstrated ingenuity through innovative broadband applications and dedication to education,” said ICF Co-founder Louis Zacharilla, who presented the Top Seven during the annual PTC conference in Hawaii. 

“Each of these communities was affected by the recession, yet they pushed forward with their commitment to broadband, innovation and a knowledge-based economy through investments in research and development facilities, the creation and aggressive support of small business and “clusters” of industries that continued to produce new jobs." 

But it’s not over yet: Dundee could be named brightest place on the planet at the ICF’s annual Building the Broadband Economy Summit in New York in May. Can the others compete with the city that gave us Dundee cake, a dessert that could batter Dutch Appelflap into pleading for mercy? 

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