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City of Madison placed 8th in the 250,000-499,999 population category of the Digital Cities Survey conducted by the Center for Digital Government, a national research and advisory institute focused on information technology policies and best practices in state and local government.

In the formal announcement of Digital Cities Survey winners, the Center for Digital Government applauded the City of Madison for “making important progress in a number of critical IT areas”, including:

  • Implementing software to distribute American Rescue Plan Act funds for rental assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Moving to a virtual model for public meetings, increasing resident participation and civic engagement.
  • Allowing residents to register their positions on legislative matters online (a system that has been used approximately 34,000 times since April 2020).

“We are honored to place 8th in this year’s Digital Cities Survey,” said Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway. “Resident engagement is more important than ever, and virtual public meetings has allowed us to stay connected with our residents during these trying times.”

Madison has also progressed in various ongoing digital initiatives, including:

  • Establishing the governance policies and guidelines for the Results Madison initiative, a data-driven, outcome-based budgeting system, expected to roll out in 2022.
  • Receiving the What Works Cities 2021 silver certification for developing a strong data foundation while working toward equity goals.
  • Reviewing information and data regarding police calls for mental health services to develop a program called CARES, in which Madison Fire Department paramedics will collaborate with Journey Mental Health employees to respond to mental health-related calls. This program will target mental health assistance where needed, and provide a more efficient service.
  • Receiving a grant to participate in the National League of Cities Capstone Challenge Project to build new, automated workflows for residents to access city services.
  • Receiving the 2021 Transportation Systems Management & Operations Council Organization Award, presented by the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE). This award recognizes Madison for leveraging digital systems and strategies to improve the efficiency and sustainability of surface transportation facilities, including a low-cost Physical and Virtual Traffic Management Center, enhanced fiber network communication, traffic condition monitoring, asset management, Advanced Traffic Signal Management software, and Traveler Information to provide residents with real-time incident updates.

Each project and initiative highlighted in this year’s survey has been a collaboration between Information Technology and other City agencies. “Our city is undergoing a digital transformation, encouraging us to connect our residents with city services and local government digitally. We are building momentum toward planning expansive resident-focused services, such as a 311 system, and I am thrilled to continue this transformation,” said Sarah Edgerton, City of Madison IT Director.