City of San Diego recognized as top digital city in the country

San Diego ranked first among major US cities in 2022 Digital Cities Survey by the Center for Digital Government

SAN DIEGO – The City of San Diego on Thursday, November 10 won the No. 1 ranking in the Center for Digital Government’s 2022 Digital Cities Survey, recognizing cities using technology to tackle social problems, enhance services, strengthen security and more.

In recent years, the city has expanded public Wi-Fi to over 400 locations citywide as part of the award-winning SD Access 4 All initiative, with over 200,000 unique users and 1.4 million connections in the first year. The initiative also includes a free hotline for basic tech support and free in-person classes to help people learn how to use a computer and navigate the internet.

In addition, the city is preparing to launch the San Diego Regional Cyber Lab later this year to help local agencies and businesses prevent and protect against cyberattacks.

The city has been ranked first in the “500,000 or more population” category. The top 10 Digital Cities for 2022 are:

  1. San Diego
  2. Los Angeles
  3. San Jose
  4. San Francisco
  5. Mesa, Ariz.
  6. Phoenix
  7. (tie) Charlotte, N.C. and Louisville
  8. Albuquerque, N.M.
  9. El Paso, Texas
  10. (tie) Dallas and Memphis.

This marks the sixth consecutive year the city has finished in the top three in the annual survey. San Diego tied with Los Angeles for second place last year.

“This ranking is well-deserved recognition for the many city employees and community partners who have helped us become a more tech-savvy city,” said Jonathan Behnke, the city’s Chief Information Officer and Director of the Information Technology Department. “From the Get It Done app to SD Access 4 All, we’re utilizing technology to make it easier than ever for San Diegans to report neighborhood issues and help those without internet access get connected.”

The city’s Department of Information Technology has led or assisted in several efforts to expand opportunities for residents, bolster the region’s cybersecurity or improve city operations over the past year. They include:

  • Installing public Wi-Fi in over 400 locations, including libraries and recreation centers, across the city through the SD Access 4 All initiative.
  • Developing a new San Diego Regional Cyber Lab to provide the greater San Diego region with coordinated cybersecurity awareness through collaborative access to tools, intelligence, and a trained and capable workforce. It launches later this year.
  • Launching Tech on the Go – a new digital literacy program offering free in-person classes for any San Diegan who wants to learn how to use a computer and better navigate the internet.
  • Creating a new Digital Navigator program that provides free, one-on-one computer and technology support to those in need. San Diegans can call the helpline at 1-800-350-6945 to get assistance or to make an in-person appointment.
  • Purchasing 4,000 mobile hotspots that can be checked out from select libraries, each providing free at-home internet service for up to 90 days.
  • Purchasing thousands of Chromebooks that can be checked out from libraries.

“Constituents expect more from modern governments. Our Digital Cities survey winners have worked hard to keep the focus on the needs of the communities they serve while implementing technology to improve delivery and execution,” said Center for Digital Government Vice President Brian Cohen. “We congratulate them for leading the way towards a smarter and more responsive government.”

The Center for Digital Government is a national research and advisory institute focused on technology policy and best practices in state and local government. It is a division of e.Republic, the nation’s only media and research company focused exclusively on state and local government and education.

(City of San Diego Release)

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