Chicago releases first technology strategy


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The City of Chicago released its first technology plan on Tuesday that features 28 initiatives within five broad strategies to create a framework to help the city realize its vision of becoming a place where technology fuels opportunity.

The plan focuses on five broad areas: next-generation infrastructure, making every community a smart community, open government, civic innovation and technology sector growth.

“Technology is critical for both job creation and improving quality of life for our residents,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Both of these areas are top priorities in the city of Chicago and this framework will help us realize our collective potential. I see the development of technology in Chicago as a key area of focus for the future.”

Added John Tolva, the city’s chief technology officer: ““This Technology Plan lays out a vision for a Chicago which is more effective, more efficient —?in a word, smarter. In Chicago, we believe that the power of technology is driven by the power of the people who use and benefit from that technology, and we are seeking to empower people to use the technology.”

The plan starts from a position of strength in technology in the city, which already features a robust data-science program, world-renowned research centers and universities, and a fast-growing data center industry.
It includes seven major goals, highlighted in the executive summary:

  • Enable and encourage major stakeholders in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to focus, prioritize, and coordinate their technology-based efforts to achieve maximum impact for Chicagoans
  • Describe Chicago’s plans and opportunities for partnering with private companies, universities, and other organizations to build a world-class broadband infrastructure and increase options for digital access across the city
  • Provide educational guideposts to ensure Chicago’s students and workforce have the skills they need to succeed in technology-driven fields
  • Help guide communities as they support residents’ digital success and business growth
  • Demonstrate the path Chicago is on to become the most transparent, innovative, effective, and efficient municipal government
  • Highlight how our residents are empowered to help create innovative solutions to big city issues
  • Help guide technology-based investments for entrepreneurs and businesses

“The Tech Plan is a tool of engagement between the residents of the City and their government as we work together to solve the problems facing our communities and embrace technology as an innovative solution to those problems,” said Brenna Berman, commissioner of the city’s department of innovation and technology. “I look forward to working with Chicagoans and hearing about what they’d like to see as we further explore the use of technology in city government.”

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Brenna Berman, Illinois, John Tolva, Rahm Emmanuel, States