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Los Angeles Is Becoming a City of the Future. Here’s How

When it comes to technological innovations, Los Angeles has been busy. The California city has been progressing at breakneck speed in recent years, enhancing government in a number ways, ranging from open data to predictive analytics to artificial intelligence.

Jeanne Holm, Deputy Chief Information Officer of the City of Los Angeles, explained some of these advancements to kick off GovLoop’s virtual summit, “Tech Trends You Need to Know in Government.” She led the keynote presentation, “Unveiling Tech Innovation in Los Angeles.”

Holm sped through an overview of the city’s most promising innovations, some focused on improving nuanced parts of citizen engagement, others looking to tackle issues as complex as homelessness.

Connected streets

The city is looking expand and improve its network of street-based data sources, including those that can detect air quality and traffic, as well as surveillance cameras and smart energy.

DataLA

Los Angeles boasts a robust portal with information about all sorts of variables, including the economy, transportation and city services, among many more.

“We are a data-driven organization,” Holm said. “We move forward making sure we create the most open data as we can as a city.”

GeoHub

Here’s another open data portal that promotes transparency and innovations.

MyLA 311

Los Angeles receives some 1.5 million service request per year, about 30 percent of which come through the app and website.

GoLA

The GoLA app offers city residents and visitors information on the fastest, cheapest and greenest ways to travel across its 469 square miles. It compares data from various options, including Lyft, Waze, Google Transit, bikeshare and walking.

Waze

Speaking of Waze, the navigation app has generated headlines for helping to steer Los Angeles drivers from problem intersections.

Chip the chatbot

The city has also dipped its toes into artificial intelligence, with a chatbot called Chip. The digital assistant helps residents navigate the city website at all hours of the day.

Data-driven homeless strategy

In a more specific example of applied technology, Holm noted the city’s efforts to understand the homeless community more holistically through the use of predictive analytics.

“We have a huge homeless population — many cities have the same challenge,” she said. “We have, in Los Angeles city alone, 30,000 people that live unsheltered every night on the streets. We’re constructing a huge and massive list to be able to build affordable housing, additional homes, supportive services for all of our homeless population.”

Los Angeles College Promise

A large part of how Los Angeles is looking to tackle its homeless problem is through education. With this program, all city residents are granted one year of free community college.

“It’s about having faith and trust that our citizens have the ability to lift themselves out of poverty if you give them all the tools they need,” Holm said. “And education is the primary tool we see.”

FindYourFuture

Similar to the above, FindYourFuture youth centers aim to empower underserved communities to fine-tune employability and ultimately find jobs.

Earthquake alert app

On another front, Holm noted a soon-to-be-released earthquake alert app that could give citizens between one and two minutes notice before a quake hits. It could be invaluable for saving lives.

SoCal Explorer Campaign

Using the Agents of Discovery virtual reality platform, this campaign provides a fun, engaging way for kids to interact with the great outdoors.

Virtual reality

Speaking of virtual reality, the city offers immersive glimpses into popular landmarks with the remote technology.

Civic hacking

To help keep up to date on cybersecurity, Los Angeles hosts twice-weekly civic hacking nights. Hack for LA offers residents the opportunity to “change LA for the better!”

To read more from our Tech Trends Virtual Summit, visit these links:

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