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Monday, 4.12.2023
eGovernment Forschung seit 2001 | eGovernment Research since 2001

Kingsport is ahead of the curve in becoming a “Smart City,” an initiative that uses digital technology to improve the lives of residents while lowering operational costs and improving efficiency.

While many cities are just now exploring ways to better use technology, Kingsport has been at it for years and is working with a consultant to fine-tune its strategy going forward.

The best example of Kingsport’s Smart City efforts is the ConnectKingsport app, which allows residents to have a direct line of communication to the city for all manner of uses, including to report a non-emergency concern such as a pothole or graffiti. The app also provides links to the city’s website, animal services, KATS, an events calendar, and the police and fire departments.

The app has been freely available for more than a year, but only one in seven city residents have downloaded it.

Ryan McReynolds, deputy director for the city, said a consultant is currently reviewing the city’s technology as part of a plan to further integrate Smart City concepts.

The idea is two-pronged — find out how the city can better use technology to provide services at a lower cost and see the needs of the community, as far as the latest technology.

“It’s a look at who we are and who we want to be,” McReynolds said.

The consultant is expected to bring a master plan back to the city later this year to outline best practices and best steps.

McReynolds said Kingsport’s Smart Cities Initiative began years ago when the city began to redefine its information technology department.

The city stopped looking at the department as just a shop to fix computers to a department that could implement technology to improve services.

“The base for all of this is, ‘How are you using the latest technology to give the best performance?’” he said.

The city wants to also look at the use of smart technology throughout the community. Much of community-wide technology lies in the hands of private businesses, not the public sector, but the information obtained from the study could possibly help guide some of the city’s partners, McReynolds said. The implementation of a master plan will act as a guiding document for the city, and perhaps the community.

“This sets the framework to make strategic decisions on technology,” McReynolds said.

As to ConnectKingsport, you can download it on the App Store or Google Play Store. It will take you to the “This is Kingsport” website, where you’ll learn more about events, activities and special programs.

It uses GPS to recognize your location and gives you a menu of common quality-of-life conditions to select from if submitting a request. The app allows you to upload pictures or videos to accompany your request.

Residents can then track the status of reports they or other members of the community have submitted until the issue is resolved.

The app allows residents to report problems and also view, comment on, and vote to fix problems submitted by neighbors. Residents can create their own watch areas to receive notifications about all the issues reported, enabling them to follow the progress of all service requests.

“ConnectKingsport is a great tool for reporting issues you see in the city,” said Community Services Specialist Maxine Poole. “Plus, it gives you a direct link to This Is Kingsport, the website that answers the question ‘What is there to do in Kingsport?’ by providing a handy calendar full of events throughout the city.”

Download the free app today to be a part of making Kingsport a great place to live, work and play.


Quelle/Source: Times News, 19.08.2023

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