Improve City Services with Innovation, Technology

(excerpt from:  Using Innovation and Technology to Improve City Services) Cities are increasingly becoming the public sector service delivery engines in the United States. They have heard a call to action: residents expect cities to find ways to improve services.  And cities are gearing up to do so. City governments, residents, and interest groups are… Read More

Five Elements of City Performance Improvement

The City of Carlton, Oregon engaged a team to establish a performance management approach that improves Carlton City government results. Under the new approach, the City would continually focus on its mission and goals and use performance information in management and policy decision-making. A results-oriented focus would permeate the City government’s strategic planning, budgeting, measuring,… Read More

The Future of Digital Services: Five Trends Transforming Government

Government is often perceived as being behind the digital innovation curve, taking significantly longer to adopt web-based solutions than the private sector, with less enthusiasm and less skill. But in recent years, federal, state, and local agencies are challenging that perception. Creating and optimizing digital services has become a top priority for government.The pressures forcing… Read More

New Evidence Shows Citizen Engagement Increases Tax Revenues

Evidence continues to show that citizen engagement, citizens participating in public policy issues, leads to increased tax compliance  and higher tax revenues.  Quite a while ago, drawing mainly from the literature on tax morale, Tiago Peixoto at DemocracySpot posted about the evidence on the relationship between citizen engagement and tax revenues.  As a side note, he is still… Read More

Software for Cities: Know your Problems Before Purchasing

Cities buy software but are cities really getting the problem solving value from that software?  Understanding the value of the huge amounts of data now available and designing the software and databases to yield solutions to difficult problems through predictive analysis of the data leads into the next generation in city software. For hundreds of… Read More

City Software: From Silos to Platform

By Barbara Thornton. Originally published 9-27-14 as a guest post  in  Sangeet Paul Choudary‘s blog Platform Thinking, The New Rules of Business in a Networked World.  This post leverages the Magnet – Tools & Rules – Data framework that Choudary first alluded to in a Harvard Business Review article here.  In this post, Barbara uses this Platform Thinking… Read More

Feds Offer Bigger Playbook for Guiding Government Managers into Digital Era

On August 3, 2014 AssetStewardship.com posted Top 10 Tasks Required For Cities Acquiring Digital Software to help remedy the dearth of guidelines for municipalities investing in IT.  Not to be outdone, the federal government, on August 12, 2014, launched the U.S. Digital Service and presented a Digital Services Playbook.  We like this a lot.  There is a… Read More

Boston New Urban Mechanics Office Leads Civic Tech Implementation

Boston, the “City on a Hill”,  prides itself as a thought leader on topics of philosophy (transcendentalism), political theory (John Adams, Declaration of Independence) and public policy (Boston’s implementation of the 1965 Racial Imbalance Act) for over 300 years.  Clearly the City of Boston hasn’t always got it right. But the City gets big credit for… Read More

Open Governments, Open Data: A New Lever for Transparency

Citizen Engagement, and Economic Growth Posted on June 26, 2014 by Stefaan Verhulst in GovLab Digest Joel Gurin at the SAIS Review of International Affairs: “The international open data movement is beginning to have an impact on government policy, business strategy, and economic development. Roughly sixty countries in the Open Government Partnership have committed to… Read More

National Hackathon Offers New Fixes for Urban Problems

The second annual national “Civic Hacking” event, May 30 – June 1, brings together participants from the fields of software development, design, research, non-profits, local government and more to use their skills to solve civic challenges.  Civic Hacking events are scheduled in over 122 locations across the U.S.  and beyond.  Sponsored by Intel, this is a… Read More