Virginia Beach Takes Top Honors in Annual Digital Cities Survey

Places number one in the 250,000-499,999 population category

Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Center for Digital Government has honored Virginia Beach as one of the most technologically advanced large cities (populations of 250,000-499,999) in the nation.

The city took home first place in the Digital Cities Survey, an annual measure of municipal government's use of innovative technologies and emerging best practices.

"This first-place win is a tremendous honor for the IT department and the entire City of Virginia Beach organization," said the city's Chief Information Officer Matthew B. Arvay. "This designation recognizes the initiatives we've put into place to improve city services for residents."

This year, the survey's key objectives were to identify cities nationwide that align their technologies with city goals; save tax dollars through newfound efficiencies; boost transparency, cybersecurity, and engagement; and innovate through unique and exciting projects.

Arvay noted that the objectives of the survey closely align with the initiatives outlined in the city's Master Technology Plan.

Virginia Beach beat out several major cities in their category for the top spot including Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Mo., and Omaha, Neb.

The survey, submitted by the department of Information Technology, provided details on many of the city's recently implemented technology-based projects such as:

  • Integrated Public Safety Program and Public Safety Radio Replacement – a suite of public safety applications that provide a unified approach to managing data and information for EMS, Fire, 9-1-1/3-1-1, Police and the Sheriff's Office, and replacement of 100% of the city's public safety radios
  • Transatlantic Subsea Fiber Optic Cable Systems – Virginia Beach will be the landing point for two high-capacity subsea cables, establishing the city as the new Mid-Atlantic hub for subsea fiber optic communications 
  • Next Generation Network – the city's high-speed optical network that will expand network fiber to connect more than 60 government facilities throughout the city
  • Virginia Beach Property Search Tool – the city's online tool and mobile app that provides information on all 159,000-plus Virginia Beach properties 
  • Open VB and Open Budget – portals that provide citizen access to the city's operating budget and expenditure information 
  • GIS Open Data – more than 200 datasets available for download which provide information for a variety of uses including architectural and engineering projects, academics and general mapping purposes
  • Mobile Applications – there are currently 19 city mobile apps in use providing information for citizens and visitors

"Through the implementation of these and other projects, we've enabled the city to streamline operations, save tax dollars and avoid unneeded costs, build a more robust IT infrastructure and grow into a much more transparent organization that fully serves the residents and businesses of the city," said Arvay.

The Center for Digital Government is a national research and advisory institute on information technology policies and best practices in state and local government. For more information and a complete list of winners, visit www.govtech.com/dc/digital-cities/Digital-Cities-Survey-2016-Winners-Announced.html.

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