Virginia Beach, Norfolk recognized as top digital cities

The Center for Digital Government’s annual survey has honored Virginia Beach as the top “digital city” in its population category.

The survey recognizes cities who use technology to further transparency and allow the public to easily interact with city government, according to a news release.

“From open data portals to enhanced connectivity and mobile platforms, this year’s top-ranked cities are actively promoting transparency, encouraging citizen participation and make it easier for people to do business with government,” executive director of the Center for Digital Government Todd Sander said in a release.

Among cities with a population of 250,000-499,999 people, Virginia Beach was ranked ahead of cities like Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.

Virginia Beach was touted for installing a fiber optic network that connects the city’s government buildings and frees up nearly half a million dollars annually for lease line costs.

The city submitted other technology-based projects including a collection of public safety applications and a property search tool.

“The first-place win is a tremendous honor for the IT department and the entire city of Virginia Beach organization,” Matthew B. Arvay, the city’s chief information officer, said.

Norfolk was also recognized in the top 10 of the 125,000-249,999 population category for providing open government data through web applications and increasing the public’s access to Wi-Fi, among other initiatives.

“This award validates our efforts to provide platforms that are customer-focused,” Steven DeBerry, Norfolk’s chief information officer, said.

Hampton, Williamsburg, Alexandria and Roanoke were also recognized.

To view the full survey announcement, click here.

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