In early November, the Center for Digital Government (CDG) announced the winners of the 2018 Digital Cities Survey, running for the 18th year and recognizing US cities which use technology to make better use of their resources in ways such as tackling social challenges, enhancing cybersecurity, improving transparency etc.
The Digital Cities Survey ranks cities in five categories according to population sizes and selects the 10 top cities from each category. The winners of the five categories are:
- Los Angeles, California (population of 500,000 or more). LA provides a wide range of digital services to its residents. It has an open platform with 1,100 datasets and every department contributing. It also has excellent cyber-security strategies which help protect citizen privacy. Several measures to provide online assistance to citizens are in place, including as chatbots, automated assistants and social media platforms. The city also features a ‘˜clean streets’ initiative, a programme of the collaborative comprehensive homeless strategy, which is powered by data from the 311 call centre and mobile app for non-urgent municipal services.
- Virginia Beach, Virginia (population 250,000 to 499,999). Virginia Beach has integrated smart city priorities within its strategic goals. It has installed 12 Internet of Things (IoT) sensors to mitigate the impact of sea-level rise and flooding and to support disaster preparedness and recovery, and appointed a chief data officer who improved the open data and transparency site with meaningful data and visualisations.
- Bellevue, Washington (population 125,000 to 249,999). Bellevue is the leader of the non-profit eCityGovand provides services such as recruiting, permitting and mapping; project management; help desk and application hosting services. Its revised website and improved services resulted in a rating of good/excellent by 84 per cent of users.
- Westminster, Colorado (population 75,000 to 124,999). Westminster has completed more than 25 significant technology projects in the past year, providing support for city council goals. The city also fully adopted the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) cybersecurity framework, which demonstrates city leaders’ commitment to security.
- Coral Gables, Florida (population of fewer than 75,000). Colar Gables exemplifies the data-driven characteristic of a digital city through its business intelligence portals and dashboards; transparency and open data portals; smart city projects with IoT sensors and platforms; and utilisation of Lean Six Sigma processes.