For the fifth time in as many years, the City of Long Beach has been named a Top 10 Digital City, surpassing numerous other cities in a national survey that spotlights municipalities best demonstrating how information and communication technologies are used to enhance public service.
"Being a Top-10 Digital City for five consecutive years demonstrates that we are continuing to use technology to deliver better and more efficient services for residents and businesses," said Mayor Robert Garcia.
The Digital Cities Survey is part of the Center for Digital Government’s Digital Communities program. The survey focuses on ten major initiatives across the following categories: citizen engagement, policy, operations, and technology and data. Responses are reviewed and judged based on a set of criteria and how well the cities implemented these services across the entire city.
“Long Beach is growing and evolving,” said Bryan M. Sastokas, Chief Information Officer for the City of Long Beach. “We are searching for innovative and intelligent ideas that can drive our path forward. This approach allows the City to become resilient and deliver the technology infrastructure and critical tools that are needed to create a sustainable and prosperous 21st Century city.”
The following accomplishments were highlighted by the Center for Digital Government:
• Focusing on innovation and technology to empower residents by implementing new applications and tools to meet modern challenges. One aspect of this is working with the local startup community through City and community events such as Hackathons, Innovation Week events and Open Data Forums.
• Engaging with national innovators such as CityMart, Code for America and Bloomberg Philanthropies to focus on business incubation and facilitating economic growth for all areas of the community.
• As part of the Citizen Engagement initiative, the City of Long Beach launched a new responsive website – www.longbeach.gov
– built on a new powerful, efficient, and user-friendly content management system that helps users surf Long Beach with greater ease; and also consolidated 4,000 pages of information down to 2,500.
• Enhancing the City’s open data site
– a one-stop shop for data and information about Long Beach, including health statistics, demographic information, interactive maps, city records, and more – and working on finalizing an open data policy.
Also in the spirit of innovation, the Technology & Innovation Department is testing a virtual data officer approach where members of the community deliver on three duties of the chief data officer by identifying high-value data that benefits residents; supporting the cleaning and formatting of open data; and presenting open data insights to residents via mobile and Web apps.
“The top-ranked digital city governments in this year’s survey are using cloud services, data analytics and mobile apps – among other technologies – to help citizens interact with government more easily than ever before,” said Todd Sander, executive director of the Center for Digital Government. “These cities are true innovators and we applaud their efforts to increase transparency and open government, encourage citizen participation, and enhance cybersecurity. Congratulations to the winners!”
The 15th annual survey was conducted by the Center for Digital Government, a national research and advisory institute on information technology policies and best practices in state and local government. The center is a division of e.Republic, a national publishing, event and research company focused on smart media for public sector innovation.