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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE E.Republic's Center for Digital Government and the Digital Communities Program today announced the top-ranked cities in the 2014 Digital Cities Survey. Springfield, Mo. ranked sixth among cities with populations of 125,000 to 249,000, rising four spots from a ranking of 10th in 2013. “This year’s Digital Cities’ winners brought about impressive change across all aspects of government by leveraging information technology investments to expand open government, citizen participation and shared services,” said Todd Sander, executive director of the Center for Digital Government. “Winning cities spanned the nation, indicating a trend that more and more cities are making it a priority that digital government be easier to access, navigate and interact with.” Top-ranked cities improved transparency with open government initiatives and access to city services via mobile apps. They eliminated waste and enhanced service levels using agile project management, and reduced costs and improved services through advanced analytics and performance measures, according to e.Republic. "Over the last year, the City of Springfield has made significant improvements to the digital services we offer citizens," said Jeff Coiner, Information Systems director for the City. "From our e-Plans electronic plan review initiative to providing a shared records management system for law enforcement agencies to our interactive maps and aerial photography partnerships with other local government agencies, what sets us apart from other communities is our willingness to work together and partner on initiatives that cross agency boundaries and political issues." Coiner added that City leadership's culture of cooperation lends itself to building great things in the community. "The digital city designation is just an extension of what we are doing collectively to meet our challenges and prepare for the future … we are truly creating a foundation for explosive growth in the region on many fronts," he said. The City launched a redesigned Web site at springfieldmo.gov in August. A mobile app will follow in 2015. New features include Community Voice, a tool to allow citizens to share their ideas for new City initiatives; the Citizen Service Request Tracker, which connects Springfieldians with the Citizen Resource Center to share their concerns or get their questions answered, and then allow them to track the status of their request online; a Notify Me tool that keeps the community informed with e-mail and text updates; and an expanded city calendar. An easy-to-use back-end system allows City staff to update content more frequently and from any location with Internet access. The Springfield Police Department,Springfield Fire Department,Springfield-Greene County Park Board and the city’s Workforce Development department also offer redesigned Web sites and new functionalities as part of the transition. The new site was designed and is hosted by Manhattan, Kan.-based CivicPlus, a government Web site developer that helps cities modernize the look and functions of their Web sites. “With more and more citizens visiting springifeldmo.gov from mobile platforms, we needed to create a Web site that offers them the information they need, when and where they need it. We hope the new site and its features will allow our citizens to engage with their city in ways they haven’t been able to before,” said Public Information Officer Cora Scott. In its 14th year, the annual Digital Cities survey is a part of the Digital Communities Program and is open to all U.S. cities. This year’s survey questions targeted which initiative cities were most proud of in the areas of citizen engagement, policy, operations and technology and data. The Center for Digital Government is a national research and advisory institute on information technology policies and best practices in state and local government. The Center is a division of e.Republic, the nation's only media and research company focused exclusively on the state and local government market and education. For more information, please contact Jeff Coiner, Director of Information Systems, at 417-864-1626 or [email protected] # # #