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What is your big idea for a smarter city?
Help small/struggling city gov improve their tech capacity
May 07, 2013 Syd W

This might seem like a low-tech idea, but I think it is key to improving access to quality data. Many smaller cities, or larger cities that are struggling with budgetary cutbacks, do not have the capacity to upgrade their computer systems and networks. Data may be stored & maintained in individual departments, or not even on a computer, leaving a lot of room for errors in data & overlap in gathering data. I'm a big fan of having public data be more accessible by the public & used by tech companies to produce useful apps, but if the city doesn't have the basic infrastructure to efficiently gather, store, & maintain data and electronic files, the quality and usefulness of the data is diminished. More integrated databases (a sort of "one stop shop" for planning, business/building permits, finance, housing, transportation, etc to enter & retrieve information), an electronic file management system, upgraded computer programs, and employee training would help facilitate better public info.

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