Connected Elk Grove: A Smart City Plan

The City Council has established as a priority effort the development of a Smart City Initiative, where the City would identify strategies and best practices that improve the use of data in decision making processes, leveraging technology to address local issues.

The Smart City Plan will serve as a roadmap to achieving these objectives. The Project seeks to address key questions, including:
  • What does it mean for Elk Grove to be a Smart City?
  • How can the City better integrate data into its decision-making process?
  • What types of data should be collected and how can it be used and relied upon?
  • What safeguards should be in place for safety and security of the data, both in terms of protecting the City’s assets and maintaining digital privacy for its citizens?
  • What types of projects should the City pursue to further its Smart City goals and how should the City evaluate and pursue Smart City projects?  
  • What examples can be drawn upon from other jurisdictions? Where can success be replicated?

Read the Plan: Connected Elk Grove

A smart city is a practice, rather than an end state or physical entity. While the term “smart city” evolves, to Elk Grove it means inviting innovation in an inclusive and impactful way. The City is building on its mission to provide exceptional services that will enhance the quality of life for all residents, while promoting a thriving economy. In so doing, connectivity is the key to ensure that as the City grows, it does so intentionally and with support from the community and taps into the unlimited potential for innovation among the City’s residents, businesses, and non-profits. 

On January 12, 2022, the City Council adopted the plan Connected Elk Grove: A Smart City Plan.  

The Plan is built around three pillars - Proactive Engagement, Data-Driven Decision Making, and Inclusive Innovation and Technology.  
pillars of the smart city plan - proactive engagement, data driven decision making, and inclusive innovation and technology

  • Proactive Engagement: Proactive engagement is an approach to community engagement where cities make the first move to understand the issues and needs of their residents, property owners, business owners, workers, students, and visitors. Cities must continually reinvent their engagement strategy to stay inclusive and equitable and encourage community participation in decision-making processes. Rather than just reacting to change, proactive processes and actions are intended to anticipate, encourage, or effect change.

    Proactive engagement includes:
    • Speaking to people who will be most impacted (more targeted outreach), whether it is by neighborhood, demographic characteristics, or shared interests.
    • Sharing and consolidating comments and ideas across different City departments to improve the sharing of interdepartmental knowledge, thereby better leveraging the impacts and cost-effectiveness of each department’s engagement efforts.
    • Providing feedback to the community in the same or similar ways that the City initially engaged and being as thorough and thoughtful about distributing follow-up materials and summaries as the City is in providing the initial community engagement materials. 
    • Collecting information across the City about what has and hasn’t worked for engagement and in what context, and then incorporating these learnings into future engagement efforts.

  • Data-Driven Decision Making: Data-driven decision-making is not something that the City does once or in one area, but is rather a consistent practice that encompasses the entire organization. This is called building a culture of analytics. This culture springs forth when data is accessible, reliable, and relevant to the decisions at hand. The expected impacts of developing this culture of analytics and transparency include enhanced efficiency by cutting down on public records requests, better operational decisions that are based on useful, up-to-date information, and greater resident engagement and innovation, as information becomes more accessible to everyone. 

    Elk Grove will pursue data-driven decision-making by: 
    • Measuring what matters, even if it is difficult or takes time to determine a proxy.
    • Using data to inform planning and decision-making at all levels.
    • Sharing open data and performance metrics, which builds trust and encourages better communication across staff levels, departments, and the public.
    • Asking better questions to identify problems, create efficiencies, and optimize City services.

  • Inclusive Innovation and Technology: The intention of this pillar is to continue to build on the foundation of innovation at Elk Grove, while inviting residents, businesses, and staff to solve City problems and provide services in an innovative and inclusive manner. This pillar will also identify ways in which Elk Grove City staff can build efficiencies internally. 

    Elk Grove will pursue inclusive innovation and technology by: 
    • Proactively seeking new ideas and creativity.
    • Tapping into the full range of resources in Elk Grove and the region to improve City services and address city challenges.
    • Building trust with the community to create inviting and innovative place-making and pilot opportunities

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