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Digital Cities Survey 2018 — Winners Announced

Open to all U.S. cities, the survey questions focused on the Top 10 characteristics of a Digital City: Open, Citizen-centric, Collaborative, Secure, Staffed/Supported, Connected, Efficient, Resilient, Innovative, with use of Best Practices.

2018 Digital Cities Survey Winners Leverage Data to Enhance Broad Range of City Services
Nov. 2, 2018 – The Center for Digital Government (CDG) announced the winners of the 2018 Digital Cities Survey. Now in its 18th year, the annual survey recognizes cities using technology to tackle social challenges, enhance cybersecurity, improve transparency and much more.

“This year’s Digital Cities Survey winners are leading the nation when it comes to leveraging data to improve a wide range of city services and initiatives,” said Teri Takai, executive director of the Center for Digital Government. “Thanks to the efforts of these innovative cities, citizens now benefit from enhanced services as well as improved transparency and privacy protection efforts. Congratulations to the winners!”   

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. 

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

  • Los Angeles, Calif.: Los Angeles provides a huge range of digital services to city residents. The city’s Open Data platform has 1,100 datasets, with 100 percent of departments contributing. At the same time, excellent cyber security strategies help protect citizen privacy. The city also leverages emerging tech such as chatbots, automated assistants and social media platforms to better assist citizens. The city’s Clean Streets initiative, a program of the collaborative Comprehensive Homeless Strategy, is powered by data from the 311 Call Center and mobile app, and responses are managed and services dispatched through the customer relationship management system.
  • Virginia Beach, Va.: The city integrated Smart City priorities with its Council ‘s 10 strategic goals, installed 12 Internet of Things (IoT) sensors to mitigate the impact of sea-level rise and flooding and to support disaster preparedness and recovery, and appointed a Chief Data Officer who improved the Open Data and transparency site with meaningful data and visualizations.
  • Bellevue, Wash.: The city is a founding member and provides leadership for the 30-organizaiton non-profit eCityGov Alliance (; and provides services such as recruiting, permitting and mapping; project management; help desk and application hosting services. Bellevue’s revised website and improved services resulted in a rating of good/excellent by 84% of users.
  • Westminster, Colo.: The city completed more than 25 significant technology projects in the past 12 months, providing support for City Council goals. The city also fully adopted the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) cybersecurity framework, which demonstrates city leaders’ commitment to security.
  • Coral Gables, Fla.: The city exemplifies the data-driven characteristic of a Digital City with their business intelligence portals and dashboards; transparency and open data portals; smart city projects with IoT sensors and platforms; and utilization of Lean Six Sigma processes.

CDG thanks the underwriters for this year’s survey: Dell EMC, Laserfiche, Pure Storage, Tanium and Tyler Technologies.

Congratulations to the 2018 Digital Cities Survey Winners:

500,000 or more population:
1st City of Los Angeles, CA
2nd City of San Diego, CA
3rd City of Louisville, KY
4th City and County of Denver, CO
5th City of Charlotte, NC
6th City of Boston, MA
6th City of San Jose, CA
7th City of Phoenix, AZ
8th City of Albuquerque, NM
8th City of Las Vegas, NV
9th City of Chicago, IL
10th City of Dallas, TX

250,000 – 499,999 population:
1st City of Virginia Beach, VA
2nd City of Durham, NC
2nd City of Kansas City, MO
3rd City of Mesa, AZ
4th City of Long Beach, CA
5th City of Miami, FL
6th City of Henderson, NV
7th City of Riverside, CA
8th City of Greensboro, NC
9th City of Wichita, KS
10th City of New Orleans, LA
10th City of Sacramento, CA

125,000 – 249,999 population:
1st City of Bellevue, WA
2nd City of Cape Coral, FL
3rd City of Winston-Salem, NC
4th City of Alexandria, VA
5th City of Fort Collins, CO
5th City of Norfolk, VA
6th City of Hampton, VA
6th City of Pasadena, CA
7th City of Baton Rouge, LA
8th City of Montgomery, AL
9th City of Rancho Cucamonga, CA
10th City of Corona, CA

75,000 – 124,999 population:
1st City of Westminster, CO
2nd City of Lee’s Summit, MO
2nd City of Lynchburg, VA
3rd City of Boulder, CO
4th City of Roanoke, VA
5th City of Pueblo, CO
5th City of Sugar Land, TX
6th City of Independence, MO
7th City of San Leandro, CA
8th City of Avondale, AZ
9th City of Bloomington, IN
10th City of Columbia, MO

Up to 75,000 population:
1st City of Coral Gables, FL
2nd City of Tamarac, FL
3rd Village of Pinehurst, NC
4th City of De Soto, TX
5th City of North Port, FL
5th City of Shawnee, KS
6th Village of Schaumburg, IL
7th City of Lebanon, MO
8th City of Salem, VA
9th City of Weston, FL
10th City of Punta Gorda, FL
10th City of Williamsburg, VA

CLICK HERE for the article on the top 10 winners who will be honored at a special awards dinner during the National League of Cities’ annual conference in Los Angeles on November 8th


2018 Top ten technologies and initiatives which are likely to have an increased focus in the next year:

  1. Cyber Security
  2. Citizen Engagement/ Experience
  3. Hire and Retain Competent IT Personnel
  4. Transparency/ Open Data / Data Governance
  5. Disaster Recovery/ Continuity of Operations
  6. Mobility / Mobile Applications
  7. Budget and Cost Controls
  8. Business Intelligence/Analytics
  9. Networking: Broadband and Connectivity 
  10. Smarter Infrastructure/ Internet of Things
Is the city actively considering the potential of the Internet of Things in its strategic planning?
92% Yes - up 11% from last year

Data-driven; Budget/Cost Control Measures in Use Now
84% Web Analytics
79% Performance Benchmarks, Measurement & Reporting
76% Enterprise Content Mgt, Document Mgt, Workflow
75% Dashboards
70% Business Intelligence/Data Analytics
70% E-Procurement
70% Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) Established, Defined and Published
69% Mobile payments for government business
67% IT Investment Oversight/Project Review Mechanism
64% Department Performance Reports published online

Innovative Initiatives and Emerging Technologies Implemented
63% Innovative Cross-Department Business/ Technology Collaboration
60% Innovative Public-Sector Partnerships (non-profits, schools, other jurisdictions)   
49% Drones
4I% Internet of things (IoT) /Edge Computing   
33% Innovation Management and Testbeds (includes public/private partnerships)   
20% Artificial Intelligence/ Machine Learning   
10% Augmented Reality/ Virtual Reality   
  4% Blockchain 

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