In the spring of 2017, something new began in Louisville, Kentucky. The Gigabit Experience Center in the city provided something that is critical in the 21st century — a free, high-speed internet.
Although most people throughout the world use the internet, there are still families with a lower income that do not have access to a fast and reliable internet access. Since opening the Gigabit Center, Louisville has given its citizens the opportunity to share ideas and communicate about improvement to be done in their own communities.
This is only one example of what has been happening in cities around the world that are taking advantage of internet technology. It has helped them with creating service institutions that aim to involve more people in community projects. It also helps city leaders connect to citizens under them and collectively solve and fix problems that are of common concern.
Athens Responds To Crisis
An example of the new way of using technology is the Greek capital Athens. When in 2008 the city endured a financial crisis, the people of Athens began tackling their problems in a new way. Instead of waiting on outside help, the people of the city began owning and solving their problems through improvisation and spontaneous efforts on a local scale.
After this, an online platform was created in which city projects were submitted to be seen by like-minded groups of people. The city government has access to the platform which allows it to support and facilitate projects that are initiated by its citizens.
Counting People in San Jose, California
When the housing prices of San Jose skyrocketed, many people were forced to live in undocumented dwelling places such as mobile homes and garages. This made the population count of the city almost impossible in the standard way, and the city suffered a cut in federal funding that is dependent on the counted population.
With the help of technology, a text-message tool was leveraged that would allow volunteer citizens to count the undocumented population and share the results with others.
Anchorage, Tearing the Wall Between Citizens and Government
With the lack of communication between mayors and their citizens, the latter have become cynical and uninterested about their local government. In Anchorage, Mayor Ethan Berkowitz uses an Open Data Portal to share the work of government agencies with their citizens. This transparency about the work of government agencies in real time at battling issues in the cities makes citizens more aware of the efficiency of their government and makes them more aware of the issues in their own hometown.