WeHo’s ‘Smart City’ Strategic Plan Scores Major Award from the American Planning Association

The City of West Hollywood’s Innovation Division has received the American Planning Association Technology Division’s Smart Cities Award for the “WeHo Smart City” strategic plan. The Smart Cities Award recognizes and celebrates communities that are using technology to be intelligent about growth, quality of life, inclusivity, sustainability, and resiliency.

The ceremony was held on April 15 during the APA National Planning Conference in San Francisco, an event that brings together more than 5,000 planning professionals and city officials.

“Cities are never finished. Technological changes arrive at a rapid pace, it’s thrilling that the American Planning Association is recognizing the excellent work of the City of West Hollywood as we weave technology safely into the daily lives of our residents and visitors,” said West Hollywood Mayor John D’Amico. “West Hollywood’s Smart City Initiative will help us initiate resident-facing technologies to improve our infrastructure and responsiveness.”

Award submissions are voted upon by a diverse panel of planners, technology industry professionals, and academics who are dedicated to highlighting projects, plans, and initiatives that have utilized and/or have deployed innovative digital tools, applications, and methods as part of a planning process, plan, project, smart city initiative or policy.

An announcement of the award by the city says “The WeHo Smart City Strategic Plan is an initiative to holistically weave technology into the fabric of the city to improve the quality of life, health, safety, and economic prosperity of residents. It focuses on optimizing urban systems by using technology and data to improve service delivery and customer satisfaction while creating new opportunities for engagement and problem-solving in the City of West Hollywood.

“The Strategic Plan addresses local and regional urban challenges with a focus on five core subject areas: Sustainability, Mobility, Accessibility, Resiliency, and Transparency (SMART). WeHo Smart City leverages innovative initiatives already underway in the City and integrates new technology, digital tools, and data to improve their outcomes.

“There are three core strategies that serve as the framework for the plan:

“The first strategy recommends several efforts to bring data-driven decision-making to departments citywide, including the introduction of metrics; performance management and dashboards; and data analytics and visualizations. This strategy supports a culture of data at City Hall by building capacity for data analytics and developing new tools to transparently track progress on key city priorities.

“The second strategy supports collaboration and experimentation and is designed to make it easier for City Hall staff to work together. Technology can provide a valuable resource to cost-effectively improve internal and external collaboration. This strategy advances best practices in piloting projects and proof-of-concept trials. 

“The third strategy focuses on automating processes for an exceptional customer experience. This strategy recommends exploring how data, collaboration, and technology can enhance public safety; prepare the city for the unexpected; and manage the built environment through a smart city sensor and smart building program. As the capacity for data analytics grows, so too does the ability to understand how the city is working so that services can adapt to what is needed in real-time. “

More information about the city’s plan can be found online. Francisco Contreras is the city’s Innovation and Strategic Initiatives manager. The WeHo Smart City Strategic Plan was developed by the City of West Hollywood in partnership with CityFi LLC, a leader in urban change management, as well as a team comprised of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM), Iteris, and Steer Davies Gleave. SOM is one of the largest and most influential architecture, interior design, engineering, and urban planning firms in the world; Iteris is a global leader in applied informatics for urban systems, and Steer Davies Gleave is one of the preeminent mobility consulting groups worldwide.