Smart cities are what Fybr is all about. That means improving the communities we live in by making them more convenient, efficient and full of life.

As Forbes reports, a New York think tank called the Intelligent Community Forum has released its list of seven finalists, including three in the U.S., that are vying to be named the world’s most intelligent community.

ICF’s definition of an intelligent community is exactly what we think makes cities smart: They “use technology not just to save money or make things work better, but also to create high-quality employment, increase citizen participation and become great places to live and work.”

Here are the three U.S. communities ICF outlined as finalists, and what they’re doing to be among the smartest smart cities:

Arlington County, Virginia

Arlington County has been using “the Arlington Way,” a structure of citizen advisory groups and commissions that influence decisions ranging from land use to technology, for years – and now it’s planning to use apps, Web portals and social media to change the way it interacts with citizens. The county also has a Telecom Master Plan that involves a public-sector fiber network that, Forbes says, “seeks to reinvent the way citizens engage with the government.”

Columbus, Ohio

Columbus was recently named a top city for new college grads, as its startup-acceleration programs, business mentoring and seed funding have led the way. (By the way, I’ve spent a long time living in and around Columbus – go Buckeyes!)

Mitchell, South Dakota

This rural city with a population of about 15,000 has managed to steer its fortunes toward engineering, consulting, software and startups with the help of an institute that is helping train communications and data technicians for the future.

You can read the ICF’s full report on the finalists here.

These communities are leading the way to a more efficient, energetic future – and we’re happy to be in the business of helping shape it.