Establish next-generation infrastructure that enables residents and businesses to become more digitally-engaged
High-speed Internet is becoming increasingly essential for both residents and businesses. Chicago is committed to making this resource available by engaging private companies, universities, and other organizations to build a world-class broadband infrastructure, increase options for broadband service in underserved areas, and provide free Wi-Fi access in public spaces across the city. Achieving these goals will support public and private technology initiatives citywide and will help residents and businesses become more digitally-connected and technologically-savvy. Simultaneously, the City is working to implement infrastructure to collect and share data that will help residents and visitors navigate daily city life, allowing them to connect with city data in innovative and meaningful ways.
This strategy lays the foundation for Chicagoans to become more digitally-connected and technologically-savvy. An effective citywide broadband infrastructure increases Chicago residents’ and businesses’ access to technology and creates an opportunity to provide the access points, equipment, and skills training necessary for productive technology use.
a Smart Community
Ensure the full participation of all Chicago residents and businesses in the digital economy through training and engagement programs that make technology relevant, useful, and productive
The most efficient way to give Chicago the competitive advantage in a global, technology-driven economy is to strategically invest in developing and deploying the human potential of Chicago’s communities by building digital literacy skills, promoting the use of technology for workforce and business development, and using technology as a platform for increased civic engagement.
The City strives to make every community a “smart community” in which everyone is able to fully participate in the digital economy. Increasing the number of digitally-connected and technologically-savvy residents and businesses yields increased job placement, broadband market demand, and business growth opportunities. Through school- and community-based efforts, the City will help make technology relevant to residents’ and businesses’ needs and interests. The City will partner with community leaders, nonprofits, and businesses to develop best practices from local research and pilot programs.
This strategy leverages and increases the return on infrastructure investments by increasing the relevance and usefulness of technology for Chicagoans. It also focuses on educating and engaging Chicago’s youth in technology, positioning them for the jobs of the future.