Santa Monica has been ranked #1 by the Center for Digital Government (CDG) for a mid-sized city that is “using technology to create a seamless environment between local government and constituents.”
This honor was based on the CDG’s 2007 Digital Cities Survey, which studied a city’s digital environment based on size classifications. According to a City press release, the survey reviews achievements in benchmark areas of technology, which include “reflecting cutting-edge technology and good governance, through implementation and adoption of online service delivery, infrastructure standards and architecture components, and the planning and governance that make digital government possible.”
Jory Wolf, Chief Information Officer of the City of Santa Monica, stated, “This award is well deserved. The depth and breadth of digital technology that we bring to bear on the delivery of public services and information in Santa Monica is extraordinary.” In the fiscal year 2006-07, there were 21 million page views of the City’s website and 65,600 inquiries for interactive services, such as paying fees and making requests. Wolf noted that the City’s technology is “adjusted strategically to respond to the community’s needs and the City’s community-serving departments.”
Among Santa Monica’s latest plans, said Wolf, is “leasing portions of the City’s fiber optic networks to businesses to stimulate economic growth,” a practice that the City hopes will attract more green businesses. He also noted that the City is now displaying parking availability on special signs that are posted at the entrance of parking structures. Information on parking availability, which is updated every five seconds, is available at parkingspacenow.smgov.net and up-to-the- minute parking announcements are made on the City’s radio station, KRSM, AM 1680.
As for future projects, Wolf stated that the City will spend the next four years working to increase the number of synchronized traffic lights with the intention of coordinating all Santa Monica traffic signals to “respond to real-time traffic conditions.” Within the next year, the City hopes to implement seven more hot zones to increase free, wireless Internet access in public spaces, parks, community centers, and at the Pier and Third Street Promenade.