Friday, October 9, 2015, 5:00pm to 7:00pm
John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum, Harvard Kennedy School 79 John F. Kennedy St. Cambridge, MA 02138
Barbara Thornton has entered the attached model:
to Tech4Democracy, Ash Center, Harvard University
- The proliferation of cheap and powerful software platforms for operating ecommerce businesses over the last 15 years offers a model for introducing digital competence to the management of municipal governments. Most municipal governments in the USA, and the world, still rely on paper processing for key health and safety requirements of their citizens.
- Municipalities are responsible for clean water, safe roadways, crime prevention, parks and recreation, acquisition and maintenance of capital facilities to serve the citizens’ needs, licensing, zoning and regulation of housing, commercial development, food service establishments, the maintenance of public health, operations of libraries, protection against fire, provision of emergency rescue services, regulation of parking, noise abatement, animal control, etc. In a digital world where people can expect to order pizza on line and have it delivered the same day, municipal officials are stuck in a pre-digital status without an affordable and effective software platform to maintain and coordinate these responsibilities. Good software, well used, as a multiplier effect on the city’s ability to manage facilities and services more efficiently; saving resources, being more transparent and responsive with the same costs. Finally it would generate data that, in time, will enable the municipalities to enhance their services at lower cost.
- Municipalities with populations under 200,000 are in need of an effective, powerful, affordable, versatile and user friendly software platform. This kind of software exists for selling shoes, but not for running our cities.