San Diego skyline
A view of the San Diego skyline from Shelter Island. Photo courtesy Port of San Diego

The city of San Diego won first place nationwide in recognition of its website and intuitive digital experience.

City officials said the “2020 Government Experience Award” was awarded by the Center for Digital Government, a national research institute that focuses on the best information technology policies and practices in state and local government.

Submissions were judged on eight categories including citizen feedback and experience, accessibility, and innovation.

The award submissions also took into account how government agencies used technology in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to city officials.

“Our state and local government winners this year demonstrated that focusing on the government experience provides a foundation that played a vital role in responding and adapting to the uncertainties and disruptions of 2020,” said Dustin Haisler, chief innovation officer for the Center for Digital Government.

City officials said San Diego’s digital efforts around the pandemic included launching a COVID-specific website section, partnering with Deloitte to create an emergency needs donations portal, and making public meetings virtual.

“San Diego has put the end-user – our 1.4 million residents – at the forefront, and now the website revolves not around government bureaucracy, but around information people need in their day-to-day lives,” said Mayor Kevin Faulconer. “This award is evidence that when it comes to government and technology, San Diego is committed to being as innovative as the people we serve.”

Under Mayor Faulconer, many city services have been revamped and made available online including the Get It Done app and web portal, where residents can do everything from reporting graffiti and potholes to requesting a new trash or recycling bin, according to city officials.