Charlotte Named One of Most Technologically Innovative Cities in the Nation

Britt Clampitt

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Nov. 19, 2018) – With its commitment to using technology to tackle social challenges, enhance cybersecurity and improve technology, the City of Charlotte has once again been recognized as one of the most technologically innovative cities in the nation. 

The Center for Digital Government named Charlotte one of the top five digital cities with populations of 500,000 or more, as part of the 18th annual Digital Cities Survey. Among the top five, Charlotte is in the company of cities including Los Angeles; San Diego; Louisville, Kentucky; and Denver. 
“Using experimentation and innovation to improve our community is an important part of how the City of Charlotte does business,” said City Manager Marcus D. Jones. “Whether it's enhancing service delivery, identifying efficiencies or putting more information in the hands of our residents, this important work continues across all city departments.’’
This is the third year in a row Charlotte ranked in the top five. Cities rounding out the top 10 are Boston; San Jose, California; Phoenix; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Las Vegas; Chicago; and Dallas. 
The Digital Cities Survey considered 10 key characteristics of a digital city: open, citizen-centric, collaborative, secure, staffed/supported, connected, efficient, resilient and innovative with the use of best practices.
Judges noted Charlotte’s North End Smart District projects, which have incorporated citizen feedback into efforts to improve the northern part of the city. Residents have lowered utility bills using weatherization and smart home technology, while the city has gathered data from those efforts to demonstrate cost savings. In addition, the Office of Data and Analytics improved its open data portal, allowing departments to tell stories using their data.
“We are proud to receive this recognition,” said Brad Dunkle, interim director of the City of Charlotte’s Innovation & Technology (I&T) department. “Our I&T team works closely with city leadership and other departments to collaborate on data-focused solutions that align our goals with their needs.”
The I&T department supports critical public safety functions as well, managing the six-county UASI public safety radio network, which includes the tower sites and network centers in a wide, multicounty area. I&T staff is also working on text-to-911 as the first phase of a Next Generation 911 project. Another effort will make it easier for police to access various agencies’ video systems for crime investigations, and a pilot program with HAAS Alert notifies drivers through Waze when a fire truck is responding to an emergency nearby.
“This year’s Digital Cities Survey winners are leading the nation when it comes to leveraging data to improve a wide range of city services and initiatives,” said Teri Takai, executive director of the Center for Digital Government. “Thanks to the efforts of these innovative cities, citizens now benefit from enhanced services as well as improved transparency and privacy protection efforts. Congratulations to the winners!”


The Center for Digital Government is a national research and advisory institute focused on information technology policies and best practices in state and local government. CDG is a division of e.Republic, the nation’s only media and research company focused exclusively on state and local government and education.

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