SACRAMENTO, Calif., Nov. 14, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Center for Digital Government (CDG) announced the winners of the 2019 Digital Cities Survey. Now in its 19th year, the annual survey recognizes cities using technology to tackle social challenges, enhance services, strengthen cybersecurity and more.

“Congratulations to this year’s Digital Cities winners, who are working to make their communities more secure, user-friendly, efficient and resilient,” said Teri Takai, executive director for CDG. “Their efforts are making technology a driver of better, smarter, more responsive government.”

“The top Digital Cities this year are taking the IT department far beyond the role of service provider,” said Phil Bertolini, co-director of CDG. “They’re exploring creative ways to leverage their technology investments and redefining the role of the public-sector technology leader at the city level.”

The survey honors cities in five population classifications: 500,000 or more, 250,000 to 499,999; 125,000 to 249,999; 75,000 to 124,999 and fewer than 75,000.  

This year’s first-place winners include:

San Diego, Calif.: San Diego’s citizen-centric focus is evident in its website, mobile apps, expansion of open data, and the Get It Done citizen reporting tool. The city is also focused on its cybersecurity strategy — all 11,500 city employees complete annual cybersecurity training. For the Housing San Diego initiative, IT overhauled the Development Services website, provided an online input tool for residents and streamlined the online permit process. The city’s new Digital Strategy Division seeks to improve efficiencies by breaking down silos, improving the end user experience and developing streamlined processes so employees can get the digital tools they need to improve city services.

Miami, Fla.: Miami formed the Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT) to ensure technology is strategically aligned to city priorities. Miami’s Innovation Academy, an intensive two-and-a-half days at the end of every month, makes “lean” process improvement techniques a cultural focus. One hundred percent of DoIT staff and more than 250 employees have received academy training so far.

Norfolk, Va.: Norfolk is using technology to support a new city goal of “Promoting Inclusive Economic Growth.” City IT personnel worked with four other southside cities to build a regional connectivity ring of dark fiber that runs through the city’s “Technology Zone” and will connect to an overseas cable landing site. The connectivity ring helps drive economic growth and makes lower-cost broadband services available in underserved areas of the city.

Lynchburg, Va.: Lynchburg leverages IT to support several city priorities. For example, the GIS team provides data analysis, maps and demographic data and collaborates with a local college professor on the Bridges to Progress initiative, a data-driven approach focused on reducing poverty levels.
              
Weston, Fla.: City officials have embraced technology to make services more efficient, effective and transparent. IT’s contract for Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service saves the city $75,000 annually; the new ePermitHub online has resulted in a 70 percent reduction in foot traffic; the newly revised website has an active Alexa Skill; and the city’s website enables citizens to access more than 75 services.

The top 10 ranked cities will be honored at an awards dinner during the National League of Cities’ annual conference in San Antonio, Texas, on November 21.  Read more about the top 10 winners here.

CDG thanks the underwriters of this year’s survey: Laserfiche, Tyler Technologies, Veeam Software and ZScaler.

About the Center for Digital Government:
The Center for Digital Government is a national research and advisory institute focused on information technology policies and best practices in state and local government. CDG is a division of e.Republic, the nation’s only media and research company focused exclusively on state and local government and education.

Contact:
Janet Grenslitt
Director of Surveys and Awards
e.Republic | Center for Digital Government
jgrenslitt@erepublic.com
916-932-1363