Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Williamsburg ranks third in digital savvy for same-sized cities

Take that Stanford and Cornell
Williamsburg has more digital savvy than Palo Alto, Calif. and Ithaca, N.Y., according to the 2016 Digital Cities Survey.

Take that, Stanford and Cornell.

In a national ranking of cities with digital savvy, Williamsburg was No. 3 among similarly sized localities, beating out Palo Alto, Calif. and Ithaca, N.Y.

The 2016 Digital Cities Survey placed Williamsburg just behind Shawnee, Kan., which was No. 2, and Tamarac, Fla., which clinched the top spot for cities with fewer than 75,000 residents, according to a release. It’s the fourth year in a row that Williamsburg, with roughly 15,200 residents, has finished in the top 10.

Last year, Williamsburg tied for seventh.

“Our inclusion on this prestigious list for the fourth year in a row is a testament to a supportive City Council, citizenry and an engaged staff,” Mark Barham, Williamsburg’s director of information technology, said in a release. “To be ranked third in the nation, especially given the size of our community, demonstrates our commitment to using technology throughout the organization and City in a thoughtful and effective manner.”

The annual poll by the Center for Digital Government looks for local governments that use technology to improve efficiency and services. This year, the survey zeroed in on cooperation among local governments and jurisdictions, as well as projects in areas such as citizen engagement, policy, operations, technology and data and factors such as open government, transparency and mobile applications.

The survey named ten finalists in five categories based on city size.

In order, the top ten cited along with Williamsburg were:

•City of Tamarac, Fla. (No. 1)
•City of Shawnee, Kan. (No. 2)
•City of Williamsburg, Va. (No. 3)
•City of Carson City, Nev. (tied for No. 4)
•Village of Schaumburg, Ill. (tied for No. 4)
•City of Palo Alto, Calif. (No. 5)
•City of De Soto, Texas (tied for No. 6)
•City of North Port, Fla. (tied for No. 6)
•Town of Marana, Ariz. (No. 7)
•City of Ithaca, N.Y. (No. 8)
•City of Hudson, Ohio (No. 9)
•City of Punta Gorda, Fla. (No. 10)

Outside Williamsburg’s category, the No. 1 picks included two from the commonwealth. Virginia Beach was No. 1. for cities with between 250,000 and 499,999 residents. Roanoke was No. 1 for cities with between 75,000 and 124,999 residents.

Joan Quigley
Joan Quigley
Joan Quigley is a former Miami Herald business reporter, a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and an attorney. Her writing has appeared in the Washington Post, TIME.com, nationalgeographic.com and Talking Points Memo. Her recent book, Just Another Southern Town: Mary Church Terrell and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Nation’s Capital, was shortlisted for the 2017 Mark Lynton History Prize. Her first book, The Day the Earth Caved In: An American Mining Tragedy, won the 2005 J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award.

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