Cities and Technology
Exploring the use of “cloud computing” for the management and maintenance of certain information technology services has been identified as one of the top trends in local government.
In April 2011, NLC, the Public Technology Institute, and the National Association of Counties presented a webinar exploring the use of cloud computing in local governments. It answered the basic questions, what is cloud computing and is your city was already “in the cloud”? It also looked at what strategies local governments need to develop in order to be successful when moving to the cloud.
Municipal IT Infrastructure
Cities across the country are experimenting with the development of data capturing devices and the increased availability of data being presented in new and creative ways. From a municipal perspective, this information can have a profound impact on the way local governments provide services and govern their communities. In order to make the most effective use of this information, cities are making investments in their information technology (IT) infrastructure. The IT tools cities are using range from cloud computing, to municipal Wi-Fi networks, to handheld devices for a variety of applications, to software programs that better inform decision-making processes. The examples in this brief show how cities are working to expand or update their technological infrastructure, reduce costs and increase efficiency to meet their communities’ needs.
Cities around the country have been employing various methods to increase transparency in their day-to-day practices for years now. From broad engines of information like city websites to more focused tools which display a city’s expenditures, cities have been looking for ways to better engage their constituencies.
This resource guide provides a set of examples of how cities can work to increase transparency in their day-to-day practices.
Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what is happening inside their local government. A major initiative of the federal government, the push to promote transparency in city government, is gathering steam. Technologies to Increase Government Transparency, a 2010 webinar offered by the National League of Cities and PTI examined the technology tools and practices city governments are using to provide real-time information to citizens.
Corporate Partner Resources
The National League of Cities Corporate Partners Program promotes the exchange of ideas between corporate leaders and the leaders of America's cities as well as strengthening local government by providing solutions for their day-to-day needs. The following NLC Corporate Partners provide solutions to the management and operation and of cities:
As a result of the proliferation and widespread use of mobile technology local governments are developing applications that make government services and information more accessible and government more responsive to the public.
In August 2010, NLC and the Public Technology Institute presented a two-part webinar that looked at how mobile apps (for mobile as well as non-mobile devices) are opening up new channels of communication and dialog with the public. Below are links to the two-part series:
Virtual Summit on Apps for Local Government – Part 1
Virtual Summit on Apps for Local Government – Part 2
Shared Municipal Services
Budget constraints and a deficit forced city leaders in San Carlos, California to rethink the way they provide police, fire, and parks maintenance and recreation services. This approach has had huge implications in increasing the level and quality of services in each area while simultaneously reducing costs.
In this webinar, Mayor Andy Klein and Assistant City Manager Brian Moura shared the city's approach, lessons learned, and what other local governments need to focus on to be successful when considering the use of a shared services approach to address budget challenges and community service needs.
The widespread availability of mobile technology and broadband networks provides opportunities to connect citizens with local government leaders and providers of public services. In the fields of grassroots community building and public safety, today’s technology tools are particularly important for building safer streets and stronger neighborhoods. This municipal action guide focuses on the strategies of interfacing, crowdsourcing, broadcasting and mapping.
The National League of Cities, National Association of Counties and National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors hosted a webinar to provide members with an overview of State and Local Implementation Grant Program (SLIGP), details about the state application process and information about how local elected officials should be engaging with their state governments to plan and prepare for the development of a nationwide public safety broadband network.
Corporate Partner Resources
The National League of Cities Corporate Partners Program promotes the exchange of ideas between corporate leaders and the leaders of America's cities as well as strengthening local government by providing solutions for their day-to-day needs. The following NLC Corporate Partners provide solutions to improve service delivery:
Citi for Cities
Black & Veatch