November 10, 2020

Virginia Beach Awarded #1 Spot in 2020 Digital Cities Survey

The City outperforms similar-sized municipalities in annual ranking of technology use and initiatives

​Virginia Beach is once again the number one "Digital City" of its population size (250,000 – 499,999) according to the Center for Digital Government's (CDG) 2020 Digital Cities Survey. The annual program evaluates how cities across the country are using technology to advance municipal operations and citizen services. The 2020 Digital Cities Survey focused on cybersecurity, advanced analytics, digital inclusion, COVID-19 response and more. Innovative cities are utilizing technology and analyzing data to better serve their citizens, respond quickly to citizen needs around COVID-19, and support digital experience initiatives," said Phil Bertolini, co-director, CDG. "The Center for Digital Government congratulates this year's winners for their hard work and their efforts to use technology to enhance citizen interactions with government."Virginia Beach edged out multiple cities including Long Beach, California and Greensboro, North Carolina to secure the coveted title. This is the City's fourth occasion capturing the number one position since 2016. Several innovative initiatives, such as the StormSense Project and the City's Traffic Data-Sharing Partnership with Waze, propelled Virginia Beach to the top spot. "We are grateful for this distinction and would like to acknowledge the other cities involved in this vital work. Virginia Beach is fortunate to have forward-thinking leadership and talented IT professionals whose contributions keep us competitive, connected and committed to expanding our digital services and capabilities," said the City's Chief Information Officer Peter Wallace. "Technology is a huge part of what we do every day and even more so as the world battles an unprecedented public health crisis. However, I cannot overstate the value of people in this equation. It is the human element—our employees, our citizens— that truly drives us."Wallace credits the City's responsiveness and overall digital diligence during the COVID-19 pandemic to its proactive, citizen-centric approach and cloud-first strategy. City departments shifted to virtual operations in a matter of weeks, which ensured uninterrupted delivery of essential citizen services. With key technologies and initiatives already in place, the City moved quickly to execute, accelerate and scale these efforts while prioritizing the needs of internal and external stakeholders. Wallace also pointed to the City's use of artificial intelligence and data to support decision-making, promote transparency and expand access to information as a reason for its high rank in the survey. "We are innovating beyond the boundaries of a public-sector organization to reimagine what's next and redefine what's possible for the City of Virginia Beach," Wallace said. The 2020 Digital Cities Survey winners will be honored during a virtual awards ceremony Nov. 10. A special article showcasing Virginia Beach and the top 10 winners can be viewed here. For a list of the winning cities, click here.# # #

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