The city of Phoenix has once again received national recognition as a Top 10 Digital Cities Survey winner among cities with populations of 500,000 or more. The 20th Annual survey organized by The Center for Digital Government (CDG) recognizes cities for using technology to tackle social challenges, enhance services, strengthen cybersecurity and more.
This year’s Digital Cities Survey also praises cities using technology to better serve citizens despite new challenges triggered by the pandemic. In fact, Phoenix responded by quickly digitizing government participation through virtual City Council and community meetings as well as rapidly moving thousands of city employees to a mobile workforce. The city also expanded its Wi-Fi coverage outside nearly 50 libraries, community, senior, and recreation centers to ensure all students have internet access during school closures and hybrid learning.
“Covid-19 has exacerbated the need to bridge the digital divide. The City of Phoenix has acted swiftly and efficiently by expanding Wi-Fi coverage and providing thousands of tablets to students, families, and seniors,” said Mayor Kate Gallego. “Data and technology are a key component in everything we do. I am proud of the City of Phoenix for being a leader in these areas to best serve our residents.”
“During these trying times, technology permits residents to continue to work, keep their children in school and stay connected to loved ones,” said Councilwoman Thelda Williams, chair of the Transportation, Infrastructure and Innovation Subcommittee. “I’m very proud of our city and employees who have worked tirelessly to close the digital divide, specifically with the expansion of free Wi-Fi citywide.”
Phoenix’s advance use of analytics, digital inclusion and Covid-19 response secured its fourth-place ranking, moving up a spot from last year. The 2020 submission showcased the digital enhancements of the Phoenix Police Public Records request process which offers 10 online options ranging from incident reports to crime statistics. Furthering financial transparency, The Phoenix Checkbook was relaunched this summer through the city’s online Open Data Portal to help the public understand where the city spends its dollars. And earlier this year, Phoenix was awarded the ‘What Works Cities – 2020 Silver Certification’, the national standard of excellence for well-managed, data-driven local government.
“We have opened the door to a positive transparency shift in residents’ access to city services. Technology is enabling greater access and our goal is to maintain the fidelity of community engagement from a digital standpoint,” said City of Phoenix Chief Information Officer Matthew Arvay.
Phoenix is now focused on an initiative that will accelerate the digital transformation of the city’s 311 CRM infrastructure. The platform will provide multiple channels for submitting service requests and comments and will improve digital service delivery without the need for in-person interaction.