Why does Los Angeles win the first prize in the 2016 Digital Cities Survey ?

In the 2016 Digital Cities Survey, Los Angeles is selected as first prize in 500,000 or more population category, by a judging panel at the Center for Digital Government, which is the most strategic, efficient and innovative guardians of public-sector tech in the US. Judges evaluated the survey submissions of each city by considering 10 key characteristics of a digital city: open, mobile, engaged, collaborative, secure, staffed/supported, connected, efficient, resilient and innovative. And the six criteria by which the responses were evaluated are: city priorities supported by ICT; demonstrated return on investment; progress over the previous year; creative/innovative approaches; effective collaboration; and successful measures of transparency, privacy, and security.

LA has made a great effort to make open data available to public, empowering companies, individuals, and NGO to utilize data improving urban life. For example The GeoHub is LA’s new public platform for location-based Open Data, including more than 500 database, which is still growing. “I think open data is a very important facet for how we engage our community,” said Ted Ross, general manager and CIO of the LA’s Information Technology Agency, “We are proud of our openness and transparency — our ability to show and disclose who we are, what we are doing and how we’re doing it.”

Los Angeles GeoHub platform

LA leaders also see the necessity to collaborate with businesses, education, and nonprofits. For instance , the city has partnership with 11 universities that are analyzing data to help figure out the way to make LA “smarter”.

What project LA has done to be smarter? For example, aiming to reduce traffic-related fatalities and injuries down to zero, the Vision Zero program evaluates data on bicyclist and pedestrian deaths on city streets. Analysis identified the most unsafe intersections, and let the city agency know where should be improved then.

From criteria of the digital cities survey, cities can evaluate themselves and think what to do to be smarter. After the concept is adopted by city leaders, the thing comes to the implementation level. This could be a long process and requires determined city leaders to push forward the revolution. But at least now LA sets a good model for cities to learn!