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The original item was published from 11/5/2018 9:00:26 AM to 1/1/2019 12:05:10 AM.

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Roanoke News

Posted on: November 5, 2018

[ARCHIVED] Roanoke Retains Top Digital City Status

The Center for Digital Government (CDG) has announced the winners of the 2018 Digital Cities Survey. Now in its 18th year, the annual survey recognizes cities using technology to tackle social challenges, enhance cybersecurity, improve transparency and much more. Once again, the City of Roanoke ranked in the Top 10 Digital Cities for the 75,000 to 124,999 population category. The top-10 ranked cities will be honored at an awards dinner during the National League of Cities’ annual conference in Los Angeles, Calif., on Nov. 8.

“I can think of no better testimony to the city’s innovative and forward-thinking goals than to be chosen for this recognition,” says City Manager Bob Cowell. “Roanoke is setting the pace for the use of technology in the public sector throughout the nation.”

Roanoke was recognized for its focus on strategy and social media. To better serve its departments, the city’s Department of Technology has shifted from a five-year strategic plan to one that is updated annually. It uses the Lean Six Sigma methodology to evaluate business processes for the best way forward as far as efficiency is concerned. The result is better investments in systems that deliver results, such as the expanding functionality of its permitting system to boost economic development.

Roanoke has a comprehensive social media strategy with more than 50 accounts and a digital community size that exceeds 218,000 followers. Last year, more than 1.3 million people engaged with the City's brand on social media. The city's citizen centric focus has translated into a series of data-sharing projects, including one with Waze, the popular traffic app. There are also public GIS maps and a city service request app, iRoanoke, that gives citizens information on what the city is doing to respond to their queries, questions, and complaints.

In other areas, the city is expanding its broadband connectivity to support local education and public libraries. It’s also installing more resilient infrastructure and increasing the use of data analytics to measure overall performance and assist city police with crime analysis.

Read more about the survey winners at

 “This year’s Digital Cities Survey winners are leading the nation when it comes to leveraging data to improve a wide range of city services and initiatives,” said Teri Takai, executive director of the Center for Digital Government. “Thanks to the efforts of these innovative cities, citizens now benefit from enhanced services as well as improved transparency and privacy protection efforts. Congratulations to the winners!”   

The survey honors cities in five population classifications: 500,000 or more, 250,000 to 499,999; 125,000 to 249,999; 75,000 to 124,999 and fewer than 75,000.

About the Center for Digital Government:

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

Contacts for more information:

Janet Grenslitt

Director of Surveys and Awards e.Republic | Center for Digital Government

[email protected]


Vanessa Bohr

Director of Department of Technology

City of Roanoke

[email protected]


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