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Long Beach

The City of Long Beach Builds Civic Resilience for Technology to Serve the Public Good

In 2019, the City of Long Beach launched a Smart City Initiative. A “smarter” Long Beach is one that is inclusive, responsible, resilient, and community driven. The use of civic technology and data are transformative tools to better the daily lives of Long Beach residents, enhance city operations and make the best possible use of resources across all City Departments. Long Beach puts people first, and it is our hope to continue connecting with members of the community, city staff, and technology vendors to earn public trust, promote transparency, and build civic resilience to ensure technology can serve the public good.  

Long Beach is committed to bridging the digital divide by advancing our Digital Inclusion Initiative to ensure every person regardless of background, neighborhood or identity has access to high quality technology resources and services to be civically engaged and economically empowered. The City of Long Beach is recognized as a “Digital Inclusion Trailblazer” by the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA). Digital inclusion in Long Beach is guided by the Digital Inclusion Roadmap, the blueprint for ensuring everyone in Long Beach has equitable access to digital literacy training, technology devices, the Internet, and other digital resources.

Long Beach’s digital rights platform demonstrates the commitment to transparency by improving data privacy practices and promoting digital rights. The digital rights platform is a city webpage with information about smart city technologies and data collection practices.  The platform establishes a more robust and responsive channel for community input, fostering a dynamic dialogue between civic technology and Long Beach community members. In March 2021, the City of Long Beach approved the Long Beach Data Privacy Guidelines to provide a framework that supports the city, and its partners in incorporating privacy protections to City technology services.  We developed an implementation plan to operationalize guidelines through City policies, educational campaigns, procedures and tools. The ‘Data Walks’ we host in partnership with academic partners are an example of community engagement opportunities to continue information the public about city technologies and data privacy. The community participates in “data walks” to observe physical signage, available in English, Spanish, and Khmer, displayed in the public right-of-way adjacent to select City technologies and includes QR codes to direct viewers to the platform.

The Long Beach Collaboratory or LB Co-Lab is a community-driven civic technology program that engages community members in immersive and collaborative technology deployment and training process to design a technology solution that works for the neighborhoods of Hamilton, Westside, Ramona Park, and Willmore. LB Co-Lab promotes community participation in civic decision-making regarding civic technology solutions. This program engaged members of the community to better understand emerging technology as an asset improving their day-to-day lives rather than an issue. Community members gained knowledge and skills on how to better navigate our new digital world.

Designing programs with equity in mind includes the practice of the ‘civic user research’  a data-driven strategy used to observe the interactions of a user behavior's, needs, and motivations with government tools and processes. We believe in designing digital services with a focus on people. We launched the Civic User Research Playbook, an overview of the user research process, highlighting the importance and benefits for all City services and includes best practices, training and sample materials, standards, communication templates, examples, guides, and additional resources by city staff.  The primary goal of Civic User Research is to ensure that digital services are user-friendly, accessible, and effectively meet the needs of their intended users. Civic User Research uses a “build with” collaborative approach to design rather than a “build for” approach, with the motto “if it does not work for Long Beach, it doesn’t work.”

We believe that civic technology and data can bring solutions to neighborhood challenges identified by community members. The future of Long Beach is designed by the needs and innovation of those that live, work, and play in Long Beach.




Latest City Activities

  • City profile: Long Beach

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  • CCDR Data Sharing Work Group - Round Table at NGI 2020

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