Dublin has once again taken honors from the Intelligent Community Forum.

Dublin has once again taken honors from the Intelligent Community Forum.

The New York-based think tank announced its 2011 "Smart21" communities last week and Dublin was on the list for the fourth year in a row.

This year's theme is "Health in the Intelligent Community," and Smart21 communities are chosen based on those that "have shown moving and innovative approaches to the delivery of better care as well as an increase in productivity and elimination of unnecessary costs," the ICF website said.

The city was debating on whether or not to apply this year, said deputy city manager and director of development Dana McDaniel, but when health-related criteria were announced Dublin city staff went for it.

"The ICF has criteria that is set forth and one of the new criteria has to do with healthcare," he said. "We thought there are a lot of interesting things going on in the community related to that with the Dublin Methodist Hospital … and all the attention it's gotten with being the most wired hospital."

The city has also initiated wellness program for staff members and residents, McDaniel said.

"We thought, 'Hey let's see how we measure with other communities in the world,'" he said.

The Oct. 21 announcement is the first in the annual Intelligent Community Award cycle, information from the ICF said. The list of 21 will be narrowed to seven in January and the winner will be announced in June 2011.

As Dublin spends another year on the Smart21 list, McDaniel said it reflects city council's goal to keep up with the latest technology.

"It speaks to one of the challenges council always has for staff that is to stay cutting edge and they're very supportive of that," he said. "It's a reflection of current and past city council. The ICF is good validation as to whether or not you are out front and cutting edge."

Dublin is one of five communities across the nation to win the award, which is based on how the community responds to broadband technology. Northeast Ohio also received the honor this year.

"What's interesting, too, is there are six in the U.S. that were identified this time, which is pretty high compared to the past," McDaniel said. "Two are in Ohio: Dublin and … Northeast Ohio. They've done some really neat things up there. It's good to see that they're recognized. It says a lot for the state as well."

Dublin reached the top seven honors for the first time in the 2010 awards process. Suwon, South Korea, was named the Intelligent Community of the year for 2010.

This year's Smart21 communities are Birmingham, UK; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Chongqing, China; Curitiba, ParanŠ, Brazil; Dakota County, Minnesota; Danville, Va.; Dublin; Eindhoven, Netherlands; Ipswich, Queensland, Australia; Issy-les-Moulineaux, France; Jaipur, Rajasthan, India; northeast Ohio, USA; Quebec City, Quebec, Canada; Riverside, California, USA; Shanghai, China; Sopron, Hungary; Stratford, Ontario, Canada; Taoyuan County, Taiwan; Trikala, Greece; Windsor-Essex, Ontario, Canada; and Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.