Downtown San Diego
Downtown San Diego. Photo by Chris Jennewein

The Center for Digital Government has ranked San Diego first among America’s largest cities in the use of innovative technology to streamline local government.

The city was praised for its use of technology in responding to homeless challenges, improving the quality of life in neighborhoods, helping protect the environment for future generations and meeting the city’s strategic plan goals.

“This recognition reflects our commitment through innovation to create more opportunities for residents, solve challenging problems and improve the quality of life for current and future generations,” said Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer. “This top national ranking demonstrates our progress and continued desire to create a better San Diego for all.”

San Diego was named No. 1 among cities with populations greater than 500,000. In 2017, San Diego was ranked third in the nation, and in 2018, it was ranked second.

Among a dozen San Diego innovations cited in the ranking announced Wednesday were the Get It Done app, the rapid opening of three bridge shelters for the homeless, a revamped development services website, using geofencing technology to manage dockless scooters, and providing interactive maps showing the condition of all streets.

“The city’s IT staff tirelessly works with all departments to better serve the changing needs of residents, improve and enhance services and respond to evolving city priorities,” said Deputy Chief Operating Officer Jeff Sturak. “This recognition validates staff’s work, and provides us with a benchmark to continue perfecting and enhancing our information technology.”

The annual survey of U.S. cities focuses on how well they use technology to meet individual goals and priorities, improve the experience for citizens and business partners, enhance public engagement, achieve efficiencies, boost transparency, enhance cybersecurity and address citizens’ expectations.

This year Miami came in first in the next tier, of cities with 250,000 to 499,999 population, and Norfolk topped the 125,000 to 249,999 tier.

The Center for Digital Government, based in Folsom near Sacramento, is a national research and advisory institute on information technology policies and best practices in state and local government.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.