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Digital inclusion toolkit is being made available to cities across the US and the world
Chicago will be the first of five cities worldwide to pilot a new assessment tool to track progress and measure commitment to digital inclusion in a smart city.
The Smart City Digital Inclusion Maturity Model tool aims to help cities evaluate the current state of ICT accessibility and inclusion of persons with disabilities in a city’s digital and smart services.
The maturity model was developed under the auspices of the Smart Cities for All global initiative, a collaboration of G3ict and World Enabled with Microsoft’s support.
Focused on a broad range of functions important to all cities, such as communications, procurement, training, and technology standards, it defines key performance indicators and metrics to support advancing accessibility and digital inclusion in a smart city context.
The tool’s five levels of maturity for digital inclusion guides cities in assessing and tracking their progress across multiple smart city dimensions including technology, data, culture and strategy.
“Today we are taking steps to expand the digital inclusion toolkit we make available to cities across the United States and the world,” said James Thurston, co-founder of Smart Cities for All and vice president, G3ict.
“The leadership in Chicago and its commitment to being both smarter and more inclusive make it the perfect first city to pilot our new tool and set the stage for other cities to follow.”
Chicago, reportedly, has a vision to be a city where technology fuels opportunity, inclusion, engagement, and innovation for all. The city’s Department of Information Technology is working to enhance delivery of city services through easy, reliable, cost-effective and secure access to information and to promote its advancement through technology.
“The leadership in Chicago and its commitment to being both smarter and more inclusive make it the perfect first city to pilot our new tool and set the stage for other cities to follow”
“The tool promises to provide a framework that will guide our technology planning efforts with the goal of ensuring that we are developing equitable and inclusive products and services,” continued Danielle DuMerer, CIO and commissioner of the Department of Innovation & Technology, city of Chicago.
As a pilot city for the Smart Cities for All digital inclusion assessment tool, Chicago will work with an expert team convened by G3ict, World Enabled, Microsoft, and their partners to understand how effectively the city coordinates its digital inclusion and smart city efforts to create inclusive experiences for everyone.
The pilot will be scheduled before the end of 2018. The result of the pilot will be an assessment of Chicago’s progress on digital inclusion as well as a roadmap for making more progress.
“As cities evolve and integrate new technologies, we can help them define what it means to be both smart and accessible,” added Adam Hecktman, director of technology and civic innovation for Microsoft in Chicago.
“We are delighted to be partnering with G3ict, World Enabled, and the City of Chicago to benchmark and track the inclusivity of smart cities. Together we can support cities in using innovative technology to advance opportunities for everyone.”
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Creating inclusive smart cities
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Smart cities can’t exist while there’s a digital divide
At the recent Smart Cities Realised event in Liverpool, two city leaders outlined how they are putting digital inclusion at the centre of their smart city strategies.