The case for smart communities
Whether you live in a rural area or urban community, local government provides many of the services that impact your daily activities. Through technology, local government can create a more positive relationship with communities and provide better access to services and data.
As McKinsey notes in their article, "Technology is already changing the relationship between municipal governments and the people they serve"; and that's true. Many communities send out alerts and notices via social media. Taxes and utilities can be paid for electronically. Services are available online to provide easier access to departments. RTVision's OneGov application allows permits, licenses, and registrations to be filled out and paid for online, providing convenience for those individuals who would like to be able to fill out these forms during non-working hours.
Community feedback is another area that helps local government stay in touch with the communities they serve and strengthen relationships. Through social media, websites, or applications such as OneGov, local government can provide access for people to report concerns or issues in their area. Many local government agencies even offer community classes to assist people in using their resources through technology. As noted in the article, "the key is putting real-time information into the hands of the public, empowering them to make better decisions and contribute to overall city performance."
Through technology improvements, local government is also able to increase the scope of services they provide. Many communities are turning into wifi hotspots to help the people in their communities stay connected. Many wireless networks are also participating in this by mounting wireless routers to community assets, such as lighting posts, to enhance the network speeds and availability in communities. With OneGov, wireless colocator permits can be easily managed and inspected to ensure proper compliance and safety; ensuring that additional services can be provided to communities without additional risks or costs.
The role and impact of local government continues to evolve and the relationship local government has with the community is important to maintain. Increasing use of technology is a good way to increase and improve services available to the communities, maximize a communities access to local government, and work towards building smart communities.