State and City Government Websites

Goals

To understand the following:
1. How state and city governments are using their websites, 2. Which websites in the industry are winning awards and why, 3. How cities and states rely on their websites to reach their audiences, 4. The top features on those sites, 5. The latest information is on how digital interaction is being used with audiences of city and state websites, 6. What the trends are in the industry specifically around digital use, 7. Cities and state governments use of digital communication, 8. Type of use of their main websites, 9. Key interactions and conversions, and 10. Any trends on how content is organized digitally.
This will be used to inform a business pitch.

Early Findings

Cities

  • The Center for Digital Government (CDG) conducts an annual Digital Cities Survey, which "recognizes cities using technology to tackle social challenges, enhance services, strengthen cybersecurity, and others."
  • Digital Cities winners are recognized for "working to make their communities more secure, user-friendly, efficient and resilient, and for making technology a driver of better, smarter, more responsive government.
  • They’re exploring creative ways to "leverage their technology investments and redefining the role of the public-sector technology leader at the city level.

2019 Digital Cities Winners

1. San Diego, California

  • San Diego’s website and mobile app designs are centered around its citizens. They have also expanded open data and have a Get It Done citizen reporting tool.
  • The city also gives its 11,500 city employees complete annual cybersecurity training.
  • Their Development Services website provides an online input tool for residents which streamlines the online permit process.
  • The city also has a new Digital Strategy Division which aims 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."

2. Miami, Florida

  • "Miami formed the Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT) to ensure technology is strategically aligned to city priorities."
  • All DoIT staff and more than 250 employees have received academy training at Miami’s Innovation Academy, which is an intensive course that "makes 'lean' process improvement techniques a cultural focus."

3. Norfolk, Virginia

  • The city has launched a new city website that "pairs with a citizen-reporting app called My Norfolk, and using Microsoft PowerBI to create public-facing dashboards."
  • They are also working to engage more than "1,200 residents in the budget planning process for 2020 with Balancing Act software."
  • Norfolk's IT was also recognized for the city’s Data Innovation Initiative, which also won two Governors Technology Awards from the Commonwealth of Virginia Innovative Technology Symposium.

4. Lynchburg, Virginia

  • The City of Lynchburg has been in the national top 10 for 16 consecutive years and it is the fourth time it has been ranked first in its population category for the Digital Cities Survey.
  • Lynchburg focuses on three areas: "expanding the use of mobile technologies; increasing the resiliency of the City’s IT infrastructure, especially regarding cybersecurity and disaster recovery; and enhancing the use of social media to connect with citizens.

5. Weston, Florida

  • Their newly revamped website has an active Alexa Skill and the city’s website lets its citizens access more than 75 services.
  • "The City has migrated several business functions online including permitting services which have resulted in a 70% reduction in foot traffic, increased its transparency using innovative mapping technology and fortified its cybersecurity resiliency using best practices."
  • Their City's website includes a Maps & Apps section for residents and visitors, which has different interactive map features and printable maps of commonly requested items such as "garbage collection schedules, recycling collection, bulk waste collection school districts, and FEMA flood zones."
  • They also added Weston Permits and My City Services which offers information on: "parcel, permits, school zone, zoning precinct, districts, garbage & recycling collection routes, public safety, hospital locations, parks, and more."

Summary

  • For the initial hour, we tried identifying as much of the requested information as possible. We were able to identify some early insights on how cities are using their websites and identified some winners and why they won the 2019 Digital Cities Survey.
  • We can continue to research to further identify insights on how state and city governments are using their websites.
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Proposed next steps:

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