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Posted on Sat, Nov 20, 2010 : 6 a.m.

Ann Arbor named No. 6 'Best Digital City' in the country

By Staff

Ann Arbor's digital prowess was recognized for the third year in a row as the city was named the No. 6 "Best Digital City" in the country by e.Republic's Center for Digital Government and Digital Communities magazine.

The city grabbed the No. 6 slot in its population category — 75,000 to 124,999 — in the 10th annual Digital Cities Survey rankings.

The survey measures and assesses the use of information technology by local governments.

The City of Ann Arbor was recognized for several online initiatives:

  • Launching an open data catalog.
  • Introducing online payment for water bills, which also allows residents to forgo paper bills by delivering electronic statements. There is a 27 percent customer acceptance and usage rate and approximately 800 customers (2.7 percent) have opted to receive paperless statements.
  • Using social networking, including Facebook, Twitter, Animoto and Foursquare.
  • Adding eTRAKiT, an online permitting and development records system that includes planning and development information, inspection results, the ability to look up permits online and check registration with the city or schedule inspections.

The survey is open to all U.S. cities with a population of 30,000 or higher.



Tue, Nov 23, 2010 : 11:58 p.m.

It would be great if the employees for the city would actually learn how to use and embrace the tools they are given...unfortunately the old saying "garbage in, garbage out" still applies here. How is it that we can live in such an awesome city and we still don't have fiber optics yet? I would love to see some competition for Comcast in the form of AT&T uverse - maybe one of them might actually be affordable in a competitive market. Another example of a government granted monopoly gone wrong...


Sun, Nov 21, 2010 : 10 a.m.

So it's the location 6th most conducive to pretentious brainwashed Steve Jobs minions?


Sun, Nov 21, 2010 : 2:05 a.m.

Another meaningless survey... can you spell p-r-e-t-e-n-i-o-u-s?! Now that's A2 these days!


Sat, Nov 20, 2010 : 9:38 p.m.

Well one time I wanted to see the budget to see how the city is spending taxes. I found it on hte city website and hit download and a LONG TIME later, I ended the connection due to getting nothing. A buddy who works for the city said to forget it, he said it is very complicated anyway. Anyone know anything about this? Is the budget attainable online and easy or hard to understand? I suspect the spending on non essentials is too high.

Ace Ventura

Sat, Nov 20, 2010 : 5:57 p.m.

a2gov and ewashtenaw are two different sites and two different platforms. Get your facts straight. Also why don't you tell us what the platforms are and the strengths and weaknesses. The work crappy is a childish description that says nothing.


Sat, Nov 20, 2010 : 11:21 a.m.

eWashtenaw is built on a crappy and confining platform. Here's a great city site: (designatd #2 city gov site for 2010) replete with mobile apps as well and link to eGov industry awards and standards


Sat, Nov 20, 2010 : 9:44 a.m.

I'm surprised Ann Arbor isn't #1 as it definitely isn't analog.


Sat, Nov 20, 2010 : 9:40 a.m.

Consider the source. eRepublic is just another private company using yet another top ten list to get free publicity for themselves. It has little to do with Ann Arbor being a "Best Digital City" Whatever happened to the Google fibre thing that everyone was so rah rah about? Whatever happened to Wireless Washtenaw? Etrakit is an million dollar software program that everyone hates and no one in city hall who wants to keep their job will say anything bad about. It's easy to hack and manipulate by users. What are the annual operating and maintenance costs of Etrakit and will IT give anyone a straight answer about those costs? In this day and age for a city using "social networking" is like giving credit for being able to tie your shoes. It didn't take a beanie copter wearing kid to figure that one out.


Sat, Nov 20, 2010 : 8:12 a.m.

Online water bills gets you a #6 national ranking? Let me be the first to say "woo hoo".