Making Philadelphia a Connected City

By Rosetta Carrington Lue

Rosetta Carrington Lue was appointed by Mayor Michael A. Nutter as the City of Philadelphia's first Chief Customer Service Officer. She helps drive a range of high priority projects and initiatives to improve all aspects of customer experience for 1.5 million residents, businesses, and visitors in the 5th largest city in the USA.

Jun 8, 2015 | Smart Cities | 0 comments

What does a connected city look like, and why should cities strive to become connected? At times the term connected city has been synonymous with a “smart city,” a city that leverages digital technologies to influence and streamline efficiencies and services, however there is definite distinction to be made between a smart and connected city.  Where a smart city prioritizes technology, a connected city prioritizes bringing citizens together in the most effective and efficient way.

The Center for Sustainable Design defines a Sustainable Connected City as “an urban area that leverages its technological and social infrastructure… supported by innovative governance in terms of policies, leadership and proper on-going management principles, to enable smart information services, aiming at improving its critical capabilities.”

By adding this social aspect to the idea of a “smart city,” government can improve local living conditions through the successful involvement of residents and private business in local planning and decision making. This creates willingness (and provides a buy-in for citizens) to interact with government to serve the public interest. This is what the City of Philadelphia is doing by working with leading technology companies to bring the public into the process of government.

A connected city is more than just a place where a lot of people live in the same area; it is a place where people regularly interact with each other, and their government, with communication methods that are straightforward and effortless, in order to create a cohesive and constructive culture of civic-minded and engaged communities.

The kind of connection, and improved communication, we are talking about is best facilitated through a network. At Philly311 we strive to be that network that connects citizens with each other and with city government. We give the many branches of local government a unified voice to establish an atmosphere of a welcoming and connected city.

As a governmental agency, Philly311 has to think about both its internal and external customers, and make sure that they are all properly communicating with each other to improve the quality of life in Philadelphia. By adopting a customer-centric model and adapting the entire culture of city government to be more customer focused – as public service should be – we can build trust and understanding between the public and the government that aims to serve them. This relationship allows us to understand our citizens’ needs, and be responsive and proactive in delivering services.

With our advanced customer relationship management solution we are able to listen to our customers, provide services, improve our systems based on user feedback, and anticipate and predict future service needs.

This responsive and predictive action makes us a connected city, using a system of open data, and data sharing we can communicate in a much more effective way. We can work internally between agencies and departments – as well as externally with citizens, residents, and visitors – to produce better results. We strive to set a standard of excellence for all customer experiences, both internally and externally.

Discussion

Leave your comment below, or reply to others.

Please note that this comment section is for thoughtful, on-topic discussions. Admin approval is required for all comments. Your comment may be edited if it contains grammatical errors. Low effort, self-promotional, or impolite comments will be deleted.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read more from MeetingoftheMinds.org

Spotlighting innovations in urban sustainability and connected technology

Transportation Equity in South Africa

Transportation Equity in South Africa

I spoke last week with Njogu Morgan, a post-doctoral researcher specializing in transportation equity in Africa, specifically South Africa, where he is based. As a historian, his research centers around how we can use historical context to better understand current transportation system inequities and access. He’s starting a new research network of emerging and developing scholars who are interested in mobility issues from a historical perspective.

Equitable Stakeholder Engagement in a Remote World

Equitable Stakeholder Engagement in a Remote World

At Connect the Dots, it is our mission to build better cities, towns, and neighborhoods through inclusive, insight-driven stakeholder engagement. We help community, private, and public sector partners to develop creative solutions that move projects and cities forward. Engagement is at the heart of this pursuit, which is why we are sharing our practices with you.

When you decide to take your engagement activities online, we encourage using tools that are functional on a wide range of devices including basic smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers. We have also developed remote but non-virtual options to bridge the digital divide.

Using Smart City Technology to Adapt to COVID Mobility Preferences

Using Smart City Technology to Adapt to COVID Mobility Preferences

As cities continue to fight against COVID-19, citizens are changing their commuting preferences to adjust to a new way of life. Cities across the globe have experienced significant increases in the number of pedestrians, cyclists, and private cars on the roads as a result of public transport restrictions and social distancing requirements. This has created many new challenges, as cities previously dependent on public transport must now adapt to accommodate more vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists.

The Future of Cities

Mayors, planners, futurists, technologists, executives and advocates — hundreds of urban thought leaders publish on Meeting of the Minds. Sign up below to follow the future of cities.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Share This