Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh announced over Twitter the city has launched a draft of its first Inclusive Digital Transformation Strategic Plan.
Kristin Musulin | Smart Cities DIVE
The five-year, 51-page plan is designed to “outline the roadmap necessary to establish a tech ecosystem that reduces redundancy and cost, aligns standards, improves the public’s experience with city government and dismantles the digital divide,” according to the executive summary. The plan focuses on five pillars of development: public safety, education, accountability and transparency, economic development and jobs, and quality of life.
The city is accepting feedback and comments of the draft until March 16. A final version of the plan is expected to be released later this spring.
Today, Baltimore City launched a draft of the first-ever Inclusive Digital Transformation Strategic Plan. The plan will be available for comment for the next two weeks. We look forward to receiving everyone’s feedback. For more information, please visit https://t.co/YP622M8OIl pic.twitter.com/iQbwV4pPwi
— Mayor Catherine Pugh (@MayorPugh50) February 27, 2018
As stated in the draft plan, Baltimore spends only 2.5% of its operating budget on information technology (IT), and spends the other 97.5% of its budget on services enabled by IT itself. Investment in IT development is a clear way to “move Baltimore forward,” which is at the center of Mayor Pugh’s vision.
Baltimore is already making progress toward a tech-focused future. Last year, the city’s health department backed seven tech projects through its TECHealth program, Baltimore was named a top city for job seekers in tech, computers and math occupations, and it was most recently named the third-best city for women in tech.
The city is seeing smart transformation in ways outside of tech, as well. Through a partnership with Lyft, Baltimore plans to expand its shared mobility services. The city is also getting smart on waste collection, and leverages data analytics to tackle citywide issues such as the opioid epidemic.
In the draft proposal, the city highlighted a goal to “engage all city departments, businesses and citizens to design, build and implement technology that creates a safe, thriving and smart city,” over the next decade. Assuming this plan is finalized and implemented in the coming months, it will likely take far less than a decade for Baltimore to see success with this goal.