Six cities will soon launch civic technology pilots with help from The National League of Cities and CivStart – a nonprofit for civic technology innovation. The yearlong program is called “City Inclusive Ecosystems,” and aims to help cities adopt policies, programs, and practices to give underrepresented entrepreneurs more opportunities for economic advancement. The six participating cities will include: New York City, NY; Philadelphia, PA; Kansas City, MO; Pearland, TX; Hillside, IL; and Green Bay, WI.
“Since the City of Philadelphia launched SmartCityPHL, it has incorporated challenge-based procurement into its work. Partnering with the nonprofit CivStart is a great opportunity to grow the network of entrepreneurs and innovators engaged with Philadelphia’s smart city work. The City is dedicated to creating a diverse environment for innovation to grow—a collaboration with CivStart will help make the process of delivering value to city departments and citizens through SmartCityPHL projects even faster,” stated Mark Wheeler, Chief Information Officer at the City of Philadelphia.
Each of the cities will be focusing on distinct technology challenges, such as: permitting and workflow upgrades, GIS technology, community engagement technology, and support for local businesses. CivStart will work to provide support and resources to allow the cities to practice a more inclusive procurement methodology, investigate their challenges in depth, and pilot a solution to their challenge with a startup company.
“Going through a program like this will allow us to communicate the different goals we have for our community and provide potential software solutions on how to achieve those goals. We are hoping for solutions that will increase transparency and simplicity of the development process, support our local business community, allow for our community to easily communicate with us about their experiences working with different groups within the city, and provide efficiency for customers and staff,” said Dan McGhinnis, Chief Information Officer for Pearland, TX.