[INSIGHTS] Citizen Engagement a Top 5 Priority for Digital Cities

People on cell phones sitting bench over road

What’s at the top of the IT agenda for digital cities?

Each year, the Digital Cities Survey reveals where cities, both large and small, are making tech investments to improve citizen services. This year, “citizen engagement / experience” ranked high on the list, in second place after cybersecurity for local government CIOs.

For today’s digital cities, it’s never been easier and more rewarding to engage citizens online.

Today, over 100 million US households have broadband internet access – 25% higher than 2010 –  according to Statista. Accessing community members online enables public sector agencies to adopt new and innovative techniques to engage citizens in key decisions and ensure that all voices can be heard.

What’s more, most citizens continue to stay connected beyond their home – at work, but also in transit. Over 80% of Americans have a mobile device. Globally, according to Radicati, there are now more active mobile devices in the world than people, with an average of 1.2 mobile devices (including phones and tablets) per mobile user. The world population is at 7.6 billion according to Wikipedia … and there are nearly 11 billion mobile devices being used by 6.4 billion mobile users worldwide. Wow!

With so many Americans equipped with smart devices, “mobility / mobile devices / applications” ranked third on the CIO agenda according to the 2017 Digital Cities Survey.

Why are cities looking to engage citizens online and on mobile devices? How are they rewarded for it?  Across the winning digital cities, IT leaders are succeeding in making government more efficient, more effective, and more responsive to citizen needs.

Online public engagement trends are on the rise at MetroQuest!

Many of this year’s winning cities focussed on digital citizen engagement. At MetroQuest, we’re also seeing major growth in the use of online engagement to maximize public participation, collect informed input, and deliver actionable results in support of important city and transportation planning initiatives.

With the launch of our new software as a service and annual subscription plans, it’s easier than ever for digital cities to optimize online engagement. In 2017, MetroQuest was used to engage citizens online in nearly 200 separate initiatives – an 82% increase from 2016. This translated into over 2.5 million pieces of data being collected from over 100,000 respondents. We also saw the mobile participation rate go from 29% in 2016 to over 35% in 2017.

We would like to congratulate all our customers for their success in engaging citizens online and on mobile devices this year!

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