The Center for Digital Government’s winner of the 2019 Digital Cities Survey in the category of 125,000-249,999 in population is Norfolk, Virginia. The city’s focus on citizen-centric approach and connected government have led it to the use of various technologies – including launching the MyNorfolk mobile app, expanding its Open Data Portal, and redesigning the Norfolk website.
“In the last four years we’ve spent a lot of time on rebuilding and refreshing infrastructure, whether it was public safety infrastructure or the computer refresh,” chief information officer Steven DeBerry said. “I spent a lot of time with metrics in presenting the case and it’s more than refreshing old computers because with new business processes and new business systems, you need faster computing capability.”
The Open Data Portal gives residents access to 32 data sets, including environmental sustainability, permits, police activities, and recreation. The data comes from city records and from the city’s 311 app – MyNorfolk – where residents can directly interact with the city to report potholes, water breaks, and more.
Norfolk has future plans to partner with neighboring cities to leverage the city-owned 37-mile fiber ring network with a proposed regional fiber ring that would connect the five cities in the Hampton Roads metro area, allowing first responders to collaborate more effectively during natural disasters.
Norfolk Mayor Kenneth Cooper Alexander said in a statement that the city will continue using technology to improve transparency, address economic and social challenges, and provide great services.
“Norfolk is collaborating with regional partners to enhance our Technology Zone, connect the city to high-speed transcontinental fiber optic cable and continue our work to make lower cost broadband services available to every resident and business,” Alexander said.
To see the full list of cities ranked nationally by The Center for Digital Government, click here.