Congratulations to the 2018 Digital Cities Award Winners
January 4, 2019 – Lane Hartman
With 2018 in the books, it can be a great time to look back on some of the successes and innovations of 2018 with greater clarity, namely the Digital Cities award winners. These cities have found innovative ways to solve problems and improve their citizens’ lives with technology. Amongst the winners were many excellent OpenGov customers who have utilized key features such as our open data, financial transparency, and citizen engagement solutions to improve their communities. We are ecstatic to be able to partner with so many innovative teams and governments as they find new ways to leverage technology to deliver better results to their citizens.
A massive congratulations to the following award recipients:
Population Up to 75,000
1st Place: Coral Gables, Florida
Amongst its many technological initiatives, Coral Gables launched its Smart City Hub, and its groundbreaking Financial Transparency Portal powered by OpenGov. Additionally, Coral Gables was one of 35 cities selected to participate in the Bloomberg Mayors Challenge in order to receive funding to pilot a smart energy microgrid system to maintain power in public safety buildings in the event of a natural disaster.
As a bonus, check out this video highlighting its new Financial Transparency Portal:
2nd Place: Tamarac, Florida
Tamarac, Florida appears in this year’s ranking for the fifth consecutive time! Tamarac has been building its technology stack for years, and 2018 saw it focused on a comprehensive study of how it can take its use of technology to the next level with automated lights, centralized climate systems, automated meter reading and bus schedule updates, and more. Apart from these advanced infrastructure updates, Tamarac has focused on community engagement and transparency, leveraging OpenGov to create an interactive web portal so residents can access financial information, amongst other data and services.
Population of 75,000-124,999
5th Place: Sugar Land, Texas
2018 saw Sugar Land realize the fruits of the technological foundation they have previously set, like with its new capacity to broaden the way that citizens can report infrastructure needs. 2018 was also, unfortunately, the year of Hurricane Harvey in Texas. As a response, Sugar Land innovated in the way that social media can be used to communicate necessary information to civilians and as such won a statewide award from the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers. Finally, Sugar Land continues to pursue greater transparency with work in open data, an online town hall, and a real-time traffic map (featuring flood information in the event of an emergency).
7th Place: City of San Leandro, California
San Leandro has focused many of its goals around technological innovation including an open data policy, smart cities goals, its fiber-optic network, and a renovated public safety service leveraging technology for crime prevention and optimizing dispatch.
8th Place: City of Avondale, Arizona
They bolstered its government preparedness for the future by investing heavily in technologies for emergency response, data management, cybersecurity, and other sustainability measures. Its IT investments play a critical role in two of its main strategic priorities: fostering sustainable development and creating a more connected community.
5th Place: Norfolk, Virginia
Amongst many accomplishments, Norfolk has increased its transparency with its Balancing Act, giving its citizens a chance to give its input on budgetary decisions such as taxation and desired service level. Additionally, Norfolk will be launching a service portal (both on the desktop and as a mobile application) to upload and track resident’s issues. Finally, they will continue to build out their free public Wi-Fi infrastructure, giving more residents free internet access.
4th Place: City of Long Beach, California
Long Beach continues to innovate by expanding the scope of its public data portal, and by offering more online tools to report issues. Additionally, Long Beach has launched its new community-focused blog, and its Justice Lab aimed at decreasing recidivism and breaking the cycle of incarceration. The city continues to increase their online presence by publishing their budget, optimizing their website for mobile use, and posting numerous videos to explain and educate the public on how to best use their website, mobile apps, and online resources.
2nd Place: San Diego, California
In 2018 San Diego was focused on leveraging technology to improve the quality of life for its residents. San Diego created numerous online portals and applications such as the MyWaterEasy app for paying its water bills, and they have continued to focus on open data and transparency. Additionally, San Diego keeps getting smarter by deploying 3,200 smart streetlights and entering into a partnership with Waze to help reduce congestion.
6th Place: Boston, Massachusetts
Long focused on utilizing technology to boost communications and open its data up to citizens, Boston is focused on upgrading its 311 system and developing a mobile-responsive version of its website for access without an app. In addition to creased access, Boston also focused on expanding digital access across the city with expanding grants to provide free and low-cost Internet to public housing communities. Finally, Boston continues its efforts of increasing transparency by maintaining a robust and intuitive open data portal.
7th Place: Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix continues to heavily invest in technology to improve the lives of residents across many different departments. The PHX C.A.R.E.S. web portal provides key homelessness information, its computer-aided dispatch and vehicle location systems help transit services, Phoenix at Your Service portal allows reporting on conditions, and its open data portal boosts the city’s financial transparency.
A final heartfelt congratulations to all cities named as award winners this year. It is uplifting to see how the leaders of city governments are embracing technology to create innovating new ways to improve the lives of their citizens. Can’t wait to see what 2019 will bring as we are sure these cities will continue to innovate.