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Top 10 Digital Cities Named for 2004

Rhonda Wilson
December 2, 2004
Center for Digital Government

The most technology-advanced cities in America have been named by the Center for Digital Government based on its 2004 Digital Cities Survey. The annual study examines how city governments are utilizing digital technologies to better serve their citizens and streamline operations.

The first-place cities in their respective population categories are Virginia Beach, Va.; Des Moines, Iowa; Denton, Texas (tie); Ogden, Utah (tie); and Redmond, Wash.

The Center and the National League of Cities (NLC) developed the survey this past summer and invited more than 600 city mayors, managers and chief information officers to participate. The survey grouped cities into four population categories: 250,000 or greater, 125,000-249,999, 75,000-124,999, and 30,000-74,999. Officials responded to a set of 24 questions and ranked their jurisdictions according to a four-point scale, providing Web site addresses and background data for final verification and validation. 

Survey questions focused on implementation and adoption of online service delivery; planning and governance; and the infrastructure and architecture that make the transformation to digital government possible. Open-ended questions were also asked that allowed cities to discuss their initiatives on collaboration, enterprise activities, spatial data, policy priorities, and structure data. 

"We received a record number of survey responses this year from city governments around the country," said Cathilea Robinett, executive director of the Center. "This indicates to me that local jurisdictions are actively engaged in the digital government movement and are proud to share their innovations -- and rightly so. We are pleased to honor our nation's cutting-edge cities with the 2004 Digital Cities Survey award." 

Virginia Beach Mayor Meyera E. Oberndorf said technology has always been a major part of her city's strategy plan to provide valuable services to its customers, while also enhancing the community. She vows to continue using technology to advance this cause. 

"I am very proud of Virginia Beach's recognition as a top digital city," said Oberndorf. "However, it is our citizens who are the winners every day through excellent online services, effective customer-focused activities, and an efficient technology-enhanced government." 

City officials in Des Moines say its jump from third place in 2003 to first place this year is a reflection of the hard work and effort put forth by the city's entire organization to make the city a better place with the support of technology. 

"The award recognizes the dedication of the city council, our IT department, and all of our operating departments to the pursuit of excellence in our city," said Mayor Frank Cownie. "This is a valuable benchmark that helps us measure our progress toward that sustained excellence." 

Ogden Mayor Matthew Godfrey attributes this win to the city's technology team and leadership. "We are very excited and honored to have years of investment and hard work by our dedicated technical team be recognized in this manner," Godfrey said. "The leadership of Jay Brummett, the city's Management Information Systems manager, has been instrumental in this achievement. We hope to keep innovating and pushing the technology envelope." 

With a population of nearly 47,000 housed in more than 16 square miles of city limits, Redmond government officials believe their Web site is a critical tool in providing citizens with information and services -- efficiently and effectively. 

"This award recognizes that even small cities can deliver huge value by being creative, partnering with others, and focusing on customer needs," said Mayor Rosemarie Ives. "Our site is attractive and friendly, service-oriented and packed with information." 

Top 10 Digital Cities 

250,000 or more population category: 
1st Place: Virginia Beach, Va. 
2nd Place: Tucson, Ariz. 
3rd Place: Los Angeles, Calif. 
4th Place: Tampa, Fla. 
5th Place: Aurora, Colo. 
6th Place: Phoenix, Ariz. 
7th Place: Honolulu, Hawaii 
8th Place: Nashville, Tenn. 
9th Place: Washington, D.C. 
10th Place: Colorado Springs, Colo. (tie) 
10th Place: Corpus Christi, Texas (tie) 

125,000-249,999 population category: 
1st Place: Des Moines, Iowa 
2nd Place: Hampton, Va. 
3rd Place: Winston-Salem, N.C. 
4th Place: Madison, Wis. 
5th Place: Norfolk, Va. 
6th Place: Torrance, Calif. 
7th Place: Chesapeake, Va. 
8th Place: Hollywood, Fla. 
9th Place: Chandler, Ariz. 
10th Place: Naperville, Ill. 

75,000-124,999 population category: 
1st Place: Denton, Texas (tie) 
1st Place: Ogden, Utah (tie) 
2nd Place: Pueblo, Colo. 
3rd Place: Santa Monica, Calif. 
4th Place: Richardson, Texas 
5th Place: Roanoke, Va. 
6th Place: Bellevue, Wash. 
7th Place: Westminster, Colo. 
8th Place: Olathe, Kansas 
9th Place: Independence, Mo. 
10th Place: Orem, Utah 

30,000-74,999 population category: 
1st Place: Redmond, Wash. 
2nd Place: Blacksburg, Va. 
3rd Place: Manchester, Conn. 
4th Place: Lynchburg, Va. 
5th Place: Charlottesville, Va. 
6th Place: Wellington, Fla. 
7th Place: Flower Mound, Texas 
8th Place: Walnut Creek, Calif. 
9th Place: Sarasota, Fla. 
10th Place: Palo Alto, Calif. 

The Center and NLC will publish a report on major findings from the 2004 Digital Cities Survey that will document the progress made to date in the transition to digital government, recent trends and profiles of exemplary localities. 

The Center for Digital Government is a national research and advisory institute on information technology policies and best practices in state and local government. The Center is a business division of e.Republic, publisher of Government Technology magazine and Public CIO journal. 

The 2004 Digital Cities Survey was underwritten by Oracle. For more information on the survey or the Center for Digital Government, contact Rhonda Wilson at 916/932-1321 or rwilson@centerdigitalgov.com.