2018 Digital Cities Survey: It’s a Three-Peat for Virginia Beach

City named first-place winner in its population category for third consecutive year

Monday, November 05, 2018

​For the third straight year, Virginia Beach has earned the No. 1 spot among "Digital Cities" with a population size of 250,000-499,999. The Digital Cities Survey, now in its 18th year, measures city performance and innovation in technology use. Presented by the Center for Digital Government (CDG), first-place winners were identified based on 10 key characteristics, which have been slightly modified this year: Open, Citizen-centric, Collaborative, Secure, Staffed/Supported, Connected, Efficient, Resilient, Innovative and Best Practices. 

"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!"

Virginia Beach outperformed several cities in its population category such as Durham, N.C.; Kansas City, Mo.; Mesa, Ariz.; and Sacramento, Calif. The city has notably revved up its digital capabilities to transform citizen experience, support regional connectivity and leverage the transoceanic cables connecting Virginia Beach to Europe and South America.

The city's most significant activities highlighted by CDG include:

  • StormSense: Installing 12 additional Internet of Things (IoT) sensors to mitigate impacts of sea level rise and recurrent flooding and build resilient communities
  • VB Connect: Extending citizens voice-activated access to city information on Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant platforms
  • Data Analytics Training Program: Equipping employees with analytics skills to encourage data-driven decision making and improving the city's Open Data portal
  • Smart City Strategy: Aligning smart city priorities with City Council's 10 Strategic Goals to enhance quality of life for all citizens

"Securing a three-peat is not easy," said Peter Wallace, the city's chief information officer. "This distinction encapsulates our employees' hard work and our leadership's foresight. Virginia Beach is reimagining the future of government, and we are challenging ourselves to deliver an experience consistent with that vision."

The city, along with the other top-10 ranked winners, will be honored at an awards ceremony on Nov. 8 during the National League of Cities' annual conference in Los Angeles, Calif. View more information here.

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Virginia Beach wins digital distinction three years in a row (2016, 2017 & 2018).

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