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Digital Cities Survey 2016 – Winners Announced

Open to all U.S. cities, the survey recognizes leading examples of cities using technology to improve services, boost efficiencies, and increase government transparency and citizen engagement.

Digital Cities Survey Winners Employ Technology to Improve Citizen Services, Encourage Engagement and Enhance Transparency
Nov. 10, 2016 – The Center for Digital Government (CDG) today announced the winners of the 2016 Digital Cities Survey. Now in its 15th anniversary year, the annual survey recognizes cities using technology to improve citizen services, enhance transparency and encourage citizen engagement.

“This year’s top digital cities are using technology to ensure citizens can meaningfully interact with city government more easily than any other time in history,” said Todd Sander, executive director of the Center for Digital Government. “From open data portals to enhanced connectivity and mobile platforms, this year’s top-ranked cities are actively promoting transparency, encouraging citizen participation and making it easier for people to do business with government. Congratulations to the winners!"

The survey honors cities in five population classifications this year - see the complete list of winners below.

Here’s a look at this year’s first-place winners:

  • Los Angeles, Calif. is empowering innovation and engaging its citizens through digital services. The Information Technology Agency is implementing Mayor Garcetti’s directives which include sustainability, collaboration, mobility, cybersecurity and open government. The city recently built an extensive open data portal, and helped to launch 34,000 new businesses, as well as work toward digital inclusion.
  • Virginia Beach, Va.’s Mayor Sessoms declared 2016 the “Year of Connectivity”, bringing transatlantic fiber to its more than 200 miles of city and schools fiber. Part of that effort involves installing a next-generation fiber optic network to connect nearly 60 government facilities and absolving the city of annual lease line costs that were nearing a half million dollars per year.
  • Durham, N.C. ‘s strategic planning leadership team aligns IT and other initiatives to the City Strategic Plan goal of an “Innovative and High Performing Organization”. For example, the city implemented an innovative enterprise-wide IT Governance model to provide effective IT portfolio management; and the city’s new website received a Best of the Web award for excellence.
  • Roanoke, Va.: In its new strategic plan, the Department of Technology used Lean Six Sigma principles, reorganized, and restructured for efficiency. The city recently upgraded its fiber backbone and expanded to libraries – particularly those in underserved, socio-economically challenged neighborhoods – to help connect citizens with technology and lessen the digital divide. Roanoke has ranked in the survey’s top 10 every year and has placed first seven times.
  •  Tamarac, Fl. The city recently transitioned to a three (3) year budget, which includes performance measures for each department, allows for better resource planning and even greater long-range planning. Performance measures are shown on each department’s webpage, enhancing government transparency. The city also has a top-notch cybersecurity program utilizing federal standards. 

CDG thanks the underwriters of this year’s survey: Accela, Laserfiche, Microsoft and Nutanix.

Congratulations to the 2016 Digital Cities Survey Winners:

500,000 or more population category:
1st City of Los Angeles, CA
2nd City of Philadelphia, PA
3rd City of Phoenix, AZ
4th City of Charlotte, NC
4th City of Seattle, WA
5th City of Austin, TX
6th City of Albuquerque, NM
7th City and County of Denver, CO
8th City and County of San Francisco, CA
9th City of Louisville, KY
10th City of El Paso, TX

250,000 – 499,999 population category:
1st City of Virginia Beach, VA
2nd City of Kansas City, MO
3rd City of Pittsburgh, PA
4th City of Greensboro, NC
5th City of Riverside, CA
6th City of Long Beach, CA
7th City of Sacramento, CA
8th City of Cincinnati, OH
9th City of Henderson, NV
10th City of Omaha, NE

125,000 – 249,999 population category:
1st City of Durham, NC
2nd City of Fort Collins, CO
3rd City of Cape Coral, FL
4th City of Alexandria, VA
4th City of Hampton, VA
5th City of Baton Rouge, LA
6th City of Scottsdale, AZ
6th City of Winston-Salem, NC
7th City of Denton, TX
7th City of Modesto, CA
8th City of Pasadena, CA 
8th City of Rancho Cucamonga, CA 
9th City of Chandler, AZ
9th City of Norfolk, VA
10th City of Augusta, GA

75,000 – 124,999 population category:
1st City of Roanoke, VA
2nd City of Lynchburg, VA
3rd City of Boulder, CO
3rd City of Independence, MO
4th City of Richardson, TX
4th City of Westminster, CO
5th City of Lakeland, FL
6th City of Columbia, MO
6th City of Newport Beach, CA
7th City of Brooklyn Park, MN
7th City of Sugarland, TX
8th City of San Leandro, CA
9th City of Arvada, CO
10th City of Ann Arbor, MI

Up to 75,000 population category:
1st City of Tamarac, FL
2nd City of Shawnee, KS
3rd City of Williamsburg, VA
4th City of Carson City, NV
4th Village of Schaumburg, IL
5th City of Palo Alto, CA
6th City of De Soto, TX
6th City of North Port, FL
7th Town of Marana, AZ
8th City of Ithaca, NY
9th City of Hudson, OH
10th City of Punta Gorda, FL

CLICK HERE for more information on the top-10 ranked winners that will be honored at a special awards ceremony during the National League of Cities’ annual conference in Pittsburgh on November 17th.


2016 Top ten technologies and initiatives which are likely to have an increased focus in the next year:

  1. Cyber Security
  2. Open Government/ Transparency/ Open Data
  3. Citizen Engagement
  4. Mobility / Mobile Devices/ Applications AND Hire and Retain Competent IT Personnel
  5. Disaster Recovery/ Continuity of Operations AND Portal/ E-government
  6. Budget/ Cost Control AND Networking: Broadband and Connectivity
  7. Cloud Computing AND Business Intelligence/ Analytics
  8. Business Process Automation
  9. Shared or Collaborative Services 
  10. Virtualization
How many staff (FTE equivalents) across the enterprise support city IT?

  • 80% have fewer than 100 staff
Where do you see an increasing need for ICT workforce over the next few years?
89% Cybersecurity: data protection, compliance auditing, mobile/remote security
82% Business intelligence and data analytics
65% Application building, integration, and modernization
40% Hired contractors or temporary labor
40% Software management
40% Vendor-managed IT services

Top 5 Most Widely-Adopted Technologies City-Wide:
93% Council/ elected body Public Meetings Videoed, Archived, Searchable online
92% Wireless Infrastructure
91% Redundant/ Offsite Data Storage
90% Endpoint Security
85% Broadband Infrastructure

The Center for Digital Government is 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, the nation’s only media and research company focused exclusively on state and local government and education.


Janet Grenslitt
Director of Surveys and Awards
Center for Digital Government