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Seat Pleasant’s

Center For Government Synergism

The Center For Government Synergism  (CGS) digitally transforms cities into V.I.P. cities. It starts with a laser-sharp focus on creating Value by having a meaningful Impact on citizen’s quality of life, and by leveraging strategic Partnerships to achieve disruptive change and innovation.

 

What is a Smart City?

A Smart City is a Connected City

There isn’t a single, or universally acknowledged definition of a Smart City.

However, at Seat Pleasant, we believe Smart Cities are the future of innovation because Smart Cities have the potential to solve fundamental human problems and challenges including social injustice, inequality, poverty, and sustainability to name a few.

We believe Connectivity across all domains is the key to becoming an authentic Smart City. Connectivity is accomplished by utilizing a “shared services hub” (i.e an operational Smart City platform) that aggregates data from disparate sources and Internet of Things (IoT) sensors so that data is shared effortlessly across the entire City, and the insights from that data are leveraged for empirical, data-driven decision making. As a result, a true Smart City will facilitate collaboration both internally amongst governmental departments and externally with residents and businesses.

In addition, Smart Cities are about achieving a more perfect union, where City Governments and City Residents are Connected. A City whose Government, Businesses, and Residents are in sync is one best equipped to deliver the services people need and want.

“Citizens, Businesses, and Government can share data and collaborate to create personalized services. At Seat Pleasant, we have 21% senior population, so we’re developing services that help them gracefully age in place.”

“Air quality sensors can be used to improve the quality of life for your citizens by recommending the best times for being outside.”

“Anti-theft sensors can be installed at retailers and connected to a central location, allowing for automatic notification of police when a theft occurs. This is a great way for cities to attract investment and businesses.”

Take a look at the videos below to see how Seat Pleasant is progressing as a Smart City!

The 4 Key Pillars of a Smart City

Connectivity, Interoperability, and Cohesion

A Single View of Operations

Data-driven Decision Making

Digital Government Services and Processes

Connectivity, Interoperability & Cohesion

The CGS facilitates collaboration both internally amongst governmental departments or agencies as well as externally with residents, visitors, and businesses.

Single View of Operations

The CGS brings information from existing systems into a common operational picture, leveraging existing investments and providing a collaborative decision-making system.

Data Driven Decision Making

The CGS provides advanced analytics, allowing staff to turn massive amounts of data into valuable insight and operational efficiencies.

Digital Government Services & Processes

The CGS provides tools to simplify & digitize interactions with citizens & businesses resulting in more consistent & more personalized services.

Why Become a Smart City?

No matter the size of the city, collaboration across all departments is critical for enhancing planning efficiency, daily operations, generating revenue, and providing a sustainable, resilient working and living environment for all citizens. Cities are complex organizations, with numerous departments in charge of a wide range of essential functions such as sanitation, utilities, land usage, housing, security, transportation, and more. Operational and data fragmentation across these departments can significantly impede a city’s ability to deliver services to their citizens and is a huge source of increased costs.

Social Justice

The CGS and Smart Cities are the new social justice platform that will move us toward achieving equity and inclusion. With CGS, small cities and their residents will have access to the same services, benefits, and tools that wealthier, larger cities and their residents have been accustomed to. For example, access and exposure to information, and technology will prepare our children with the skills needed for tomorrow’s economy.

Prepare for Emergencies

The CGS is a way to help your City plan for and better respond to emergencies and disasters efficiently, saving lives and money in the process.

Fight Crime

The CGS is a way to help your City fight back crime. For example, the CGS analyzes data to identify crime hotspots. That data can be used to inform patrolling routes and patrolling schedules to proactively address crime with fewer resources.

Improve Collaboration

The CGS is a way to help all your city departments collaborate, share information, and knock down silos. For example, our Public Works Department & neighborhood and commercial compliance inspectors use the CGS to share important information about city properties with the Police Department to improve public safety.

Utilize your Data

The CGS can help your City make smart, informed decisions backed by empirical data. Its more than just a way to collect data; it allows you to Understand and Act on your data. For example, at Seat Pleasant, we used vacant housing data & property tax assessment data to estimate the effect of vacant housing on city budgets & city resources. This information was the catalyst for creation of the Seat Pleasant Housing Trust Fund and the Seat Pleasant Smart Buy Programs to attract new residents and reduce tax losses.

Personalize Government Services

The CGS is a way to create more personalized services for our residents. It is a way to give power to the people, essentially allowing our residents to be the Mayor of our city. For example, using our App, residents can submit service requests, crime tips, or general feedback and input directly to the city.

Improve Effectiveness & Efficiency

The CGS is a way to improve your city’s services and productivity. The data generated by the CGS can be used to measure how effectively your city is achieving its mission, and how well your investments are working.

The Challenge

When small municipalities are growing, such as Seat Pleasant, located in Maryland’s Prince George’s county, there’s an increased demand on city leaders to have a single view of real-time operational status to inform planning efforts and facilitate coordinated response across agencies. Daily city operations generate vast amounts of data from many different sources but leaders often lack the tools to visualize all that disparate data and extract meaningful and actionable information.

 

What City Leaders, Employees, and Residents are Saying

At the 2018 Maryland Municipal League annual summer conference at Ocean City, we asked the 157 member cities to describe the key challenges facing their respective cities. The survey results suggest that regardless of size, cities are faced with common challenges. The most commonly reported challenges included Increasing Public Engagement, Improving Communication, Dealing with Financial Constraints, Economic Development, Aging Infrastructure, and Public Safety to name a few.

Smart City technology can help municipalities and cities in a variety of ways and has the potential to address all of the common challenges identified by City leaders across the state of Maryland. When these City leaders were asked in which areas do they anticipate Smart City technology will have the biggest impacts, they identified Emergency Management (61%) and Public Engagement (63%) to name a few. The full survey results are displayed below (responders were asked to choose all areas that apply).

%

Emergency Management

%

Public Engagement

%

Digital Government Services

%

Water Management

%

Utility Management

%

Aging in Place

If your City or Organization is interested in apply Smart City Technology in one of these areas, please click the button below for more information on how to get started with a Smart City Transformation.

The Solution

Despite these challenges, city leaders are finding innovative ways to collaborate and engage with citizens and local businesses, and increase operational efficiencies. Seat Pleasant is leveraging the latest technological advances and deploying smarter, cloud and cognitive solutions. Seat Pleasant’s comprehensive solution stack is called the Center For Government Synergism (CGS) and includes the “My Seat Pleasant” mobile app and IBM’s Intelligent Operations Center (IOC). These cloud-based solutions are providing personalized experiences while optimizing program delivery and outcomes for the city’s constituents. The Center For Government Synergism (CGS) was developed based on input from key stakeholders and the actual beneficiaries of the solution such as City leaders, employees, and residents. It was developed with the goal of addressing the challenges faced by Cities and Municipalities across the United States, including many of the challenges identified by the Maryland Municipal League’s member Cities (see above). The videos on the left provide more information on the IBM Intelligent Operations Center and its numerous Smart City use cases. 

The “My Seat Pleasant” app is a public-facing mobile application providing direct benefits to Seat Pleasant residents, businesses, and city employees. This mobile application provides a host of features, including (but not limited to) service requests, a library of city codes, a city document library, a city directory, on-demand broadcast (push) notifications, garbage/recycling and snow removal schedules, city job listings, online payments, events and activities listings. Additionally, the app features a natural language question and answer cognitive assistant that leverages IBM Watson advanced machine learning models.

The Center For Government Synergism (CGS) empowers Seat Pleasant city leaders by providing a holistic, operational view of the City across all departments. Initially, the IOC is connecting the Department of Public Works, Code Enforcement, and Police Department with real-time information to facilitate cross-department decision making, coordination of events, communication, and collaboration. This will support improvements in operational efficiency, public safety and the quality of service to citizens.

The Benefits

Benefits of the Center For Government Synergism include the capabilities to:

 
Engage

Engage with constituents, promote effective communication, and increase transparency

Digitize

Digitize services and interactions with citizens so that every encounter with government achieves the desired outcome

 
Analyze
  • Analyze information across agencies and departments, and leverage advanced analytics to make better decisions (data-driven decision making)
  • Analyze information from existing systems to provide a unified view of operations that allows cities to optimize processes from start to finish and across silos
Optimize

Optimize planned and unplanned operations by using a holistic reporting and monitoring approach

 
Anticipate

Anticipate problems, resolve them proactively, and minimize the impact of disruptions

 
Coordinate

Coordinate resources and processes to respond to issues rapidly and operate effectively

 
Build

Build consensus across departments and agencies in a city by facilitating communication and collaboration

 

The Vision: A Nation of Smart Cities

Recognizing that most Americans live in smaller communities, Seat Pleasant, envisions not only becoming the first small municipality to embrace Smarter City concepts for the benefit of its constituents, but also becoming the first to employ a shared services model to extend these benefits to neighboring communities in a business model which could eventually scale across the county, the state, and even nation-wide.

Seat Pleasant is joining other Smart Cities who use data and technology to improve outcomes in security, safety, resilience, and social services. What makes Seat Pleasant unique is that we are a small municipality with the bold vision to deliver services that were previously limited to much larger cities at a fraction of the cost and thus eliminating the main barrier to entry for small municipalities (e.g. affordability).

“For small cities such as Seat Pleasant, the Center For Government Synergism (CGS) levels the playing field with larger cities. We now use data to better serve our residents, make more informed decisions and provide the quality services our citizens need to thrive – improving overall quality of life.”

Eugene W. Grant, Mayor of Seat Pleasant Maryland

Our Roadmap

See Where We’ve Been and Where We Are Going

Our Partner Network

Partnering with Seat Pleasant for your Smart City and Digital Transformation Strategy will give you access to our network of Industry, Non-profit, Governmental and Educational Partners.

Ready to get started on your own Digital Transformation?

Get in touch, and we’ll show you how!

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