Sunday, March 8, 2015

CitiStat, Smart Cities and Accountability

When previous Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley expanded CrimeStat, which he had copied from NYC, to become CitiStat he was ahead of his time in using real time data to asses performance of his departments. His system of weekly sessions where department heads got grilled and held accountable became as feared by the agencies as it became famous worldwide. Even London came to admire the command center which was established on a mezzanine in city hall. Screens, GIS and data everywhere. 

To let this languish at a time when mayors worldwide are in a race to make their city "smart" and data driven is curious to say the least, maybe irresponsible. It removes Baltimore from a competitive edge it had to a "also ran". In a time of lean government it is important that agencies are run accountable, lean and efficiently. 

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