Rural Canadian Valley certified world’s first “Smart and Sustainable Rural Region.”

The Gold Certification by the World Council on City Data puts the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia in the top ranks of smart cities around the globe – only the Valley isn’t a city.

Valley Regional Enterprise Network (REN) chairman David Ritcey said that the certification will set the Annapolis Valley apart as a rural region.

“That’s a pretty significant accomplishment in my mind,” he said. “I think the key thing is that it’s global affirmation of our many regional assets here in the Valley.”

Ritcey said it’s important to get the message out to the entire world that we have these advantages, and that is what the Valley REN plans to do with this endorsement. It essentially acts as a trigger to begin a marketing campaign to heavily promote the Annapolis Valley.

The WCCD has primarily worked with urban centres, 100 cities in 38 countries, to build high caliber, ISO standardized data. It is certifying cities reporting data in accordance with ISO 37120, the first ISO standard for cities.

Ritcey said that since the Valley is a rural region, the data points will be very unique compared to cities. A lot of people are moving here from all around the world. Ritcey believes that this type of certification, if promoted properly, will continue a trend of people moving here from larger urban centres. He said there’s no reason why these people wouldn’t be attracted by our rural lifestyle.

“They can sell their homes and move away from a congested, very dense city environment and live at a nice pace here in the Annapolis Valley, with all our attributes,” Ritcey said.

He said the level of economic activity in the Valley over the past year or so has been “phenomenal.”

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