The City of Cape Coral has been named the top digital city in the 125,000 – 249,000 population category of the 2017 Digital Cities Survey. The Center for Digital Government announced the winners today for their annual survey, now in its 17th year. The Digital Cities Survey recognizes cities using technology to improve citizen services, enhance transparency and encourage citizen engagement.
“We are very honored to be named the top digital city in this year’s survey,” said City Manager John Szerlag. “This award recognizes the City’s progress in developing a strong data and technology platform, which has produced benefits for both our internal and external customers.”
The Digital Cities Survey focuses on the Top 10 characteristics of a Digital City: Open, Mobile, Engaged, Collaborative, Secure, Staffed/Supported, Connected, Efficient, Resilient, and Use of Innovation and Best Practices. Cape Coral participated in the survey a few times in past years, placing as high as 2nd in 2012. In 2016, the City renewed its participation and placed third in its population category.
Since last year, the City has made several upgrades to the IT infrastructure. They expanded the amount of open data sets and apps available to the public via the “Open Government” page on the City’s website (www.capecoral.net). This was accomplished in part by the City’s selection to participate in “What Works Cities,” a national initiative sponsored by Bloomberg Philanthropies. This initiative is to help cities enhance their use of data to improve services and engage residents. What Works Cities helped Cape Coral find ways and opportunities to make additional data available to the public.
“We are very excited about receiving the top ranking, but we know we have more to do to increase transparency and make data easily accessible to our citizens,” said Michelle Hoffmann, director of the City’s Information Technology Services Department. “As the number of people looking to access information via the Internet continues to increase, it is important not only to find ways to make information available, but to ensure the security of that information. This is our focus for the future.”