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San Jose has been recognized as the nation’s most innovative local government by the Center for Digital Government on Tuesday — fulfilling Mayor Sam Liccardo’s Smart City Vision which aimed to gain this title by 2020.
The Smart City Vision launched in 2016 by Liccardo is a series of values and goals to develop user-centric technology to benefit the community.
Since its launch, San Jose has placed in the top 10 most innovative cities and this is the first year it reigns at the top.
“When we launched the Smart City Vision in 2016 with the goal of becoming the nation’s most innovative city in 2020, I don’t think I foresaw how critically important that innovation would become with the onset of COVID,” Liccardo said.
Liccardo shared that the technology, data and processes developed over the last four years were essential to “nimbly launch a host of new services,” including the distribution of 2.4 million meals per week and expanding free broadband connectivity to more than 100,000 residents.
“Achieving #1 in the Digital Cities Awards is a major achievement for us as a City,” said Rob Lloyd, the City’s Chief Information Officer. “Being a smart and responsive community is a team sport, and a continuous journey.”
The Smart City Vision was a collaboration between Lloyd who led the city’s IT department, the Civic Innovation Team and the Mayor’s Office of Technology and Innovation led by Jordan Sun.
“We are only raising the bar as a city and need to challenge ourselves in the pursuit of a higher standard as we work to respond to the myriad of challenges brought by the pandemic,” Sun said.
One of the most notable initiatives was the recent effort to bridge the stark digital divide in San Jose. Through a public-private partnership, the city was able to connect 50,000 households with hotspots.
It also created a “green” device donation program which is anticipated to connect more than 300,000 residents to broadband by 2022.
I couldn’t be more proud of how far we’ve come,” Liccardo said. “We’ve got much more work ahead, though, and we’re not resting on any laurels.”
The second and third place winners for the Most Innovative City awards (for a population of 500,000+) are Los Angeles and San Diego respectively.
The complete list of winners can be found online.