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NEW FEATURE: City Spotlight: California Cities’ Innovation Ignites New Ways of Thinking

November 15, 2013
California and its 482 incorporated cities are by far the most diverse in the country. Such diversity necessitates and fosters new ways of thinking to address unprecedented challenges and developments.
From technological breakthroughs to agricultural advancements, California cities are on the leading edge of nearly every industry. When it comes to policy and governing, once again, California local governments are out front leading the way to new ideas that better serve uniquely different communities.

City Spotlight, a new CA Cities Advocate feature, celebrates the achievements and new innovative ways California’s cities tackle emerging issues while excelling at the same time. Has your city succeeded in something that should be featured in City Spotlight? Let us know! Please email suggestions to lkimzey@cacities.com.
Emeryville Businesses Provide Free Shuttles
Launched in 1995, the Emery Go-Round is a free bus service financed by local business owners in Emeryville. The program offers three shuttle lines that run through and stop at various mass transit hubs such as the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART). The service is extended to city residents, visitors and employees of local businesses. For the most part, locally employed riders are able to take the shuttle to BART or other transit stations to their jobs with little to no personal driving involved. In addition to saving the environment by reducing car emissions and riders money, the program has its own free mobile application and receives consistently high marks and reviews on Yelp.       
Nine California Cities Recognized for Information and Communication Technology Advancements
The Center for Digital Government recently released its 13th Annual Digital Cities Survey where it recognized nine California cities for achievements in innovative communication and technological advancements. Cities were recognized for advancements that increased transparency of government functions and improved access to city services.
Of the nine California cities recognized, Palo Alto received first place in its 75,000 or less population class with its PaltoAlto311 smartphone application and overall information technology plan. According to the program website, “PaloAlto311 is a multi-platform solution for providing Palo Alto residents, businesses and visitors access to a set of local government-provided services, 24-hours a day, seven-days a week.” The initial focus of the free application is to provide residents the ability to report infrastructure problems like potholes and fallen trees. It is expected that application capabilities will expand overtime. In addition, the city was recognized for its Open Data Platform that allows for easier access to timely local government information such as city development permits and various community offered services.  
The following cities were also recognized:
250,000+ Population Category
  • Riverside, 3rd Place
  • Long Beach, 7th Place
  • Los Angeles, 9th Place
125,000 — 249,999 Population Category
  • Chula Vista, 6th Place
  • Modesto, 7th Place
  • Simi Valley, 9th Place
75,000 — 124,999 Population Category
  • Roseville, 3rd Place
Less than 75,000 Population Categories
  • Palo Alto, 1st Place
  • Rancho Cordova, 6th Place
For more information and detailed survey results, please see the survey website.

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