- A new report by nonprofit Living Cities and media outlet Governing analyzed which cities have the highest-performing local governments. According to the report, "good government" is defined as being dynamically planned, broadly partnered, resident-involved, race-informed, smartly resourced, employee-engaged and data-driven.
- The report named Phoenix as the best-performing city, and nine other cities were acknowledged as stand outs: Las Vegas; San Diego; Riverside, CA; San Jose, CA; El Paso, TX; Fayetteville, NC; San Antonio; Philadelphia and Louisville, KY.
- 61 cities completed the report's 92-question self-assessment that covered everything from long-term strategic plans to pensions, to how big the city's achievement gap is between white and minority students.
The report, titled "Equipt to Innovate," gives an in-depth look at how governing can affect all aspects of city life. Phoenix's government took the crown due to its efforts in partnering with other levels of government, having open data policies, rebuilding trust and provisioning services equitably for racial minorities and immigrant groups. In terms of their open data efforts, the report said Phoenix's easy-to-use portal and user-controlled visualizations make data accessible and useful, allowing them to serve as a model for other cities.
Phoenix has been making strong developmental progress outside of its city government, especially in areas of waste diversion and energy efficiency. With continued determination from innovative and collaborative minds, it is likely Phoenix will continue to rise to the top of smart city lists.
Governing noted that race-informed policies needed the most improvement across survey participants, as only 16% of city participants strongly agreed there was trust in government among their immigrant and minority communities. As cities develop and become more advanced, it will be crucial for departments to develop racial action plans to ensure citizens of all ethnicities and backgrounds receive equal opportunities for housing, jobs and access to city services, especially connectivity.