Exploiting the potential of technology to improve municipal administrative processes and strengthen relationships between public administration and citizens are fundamental principles of ´digital cities´.

This concept seeks to make technology an engine for growth.

According to Francisco Gomez, Secretary General of the Iberoamerican Association of Research Centers and Telecommunication Enterprises (Ahciet), cities can use technology to improve internal processes in their institutions to provide citizens with more and better services that improve their relationship and facilitate their interaction.

Medellin is a good example of how technology can help to improve competitiveness and create a city orientation.

This capital city, thanks to strong support from the Mayor, universities and companies like Une, has built a scheme, where technology is a key player, to transform itself from a purely industrial town to one with serious interests in technology and service.

Thanks to an initiative by the City Council was created Medellin Digital, an agency dedicated to the promotion, adaptation and implementation of digital mechanisms for better use of ICTs in various scenes of Medellin´s daily-life. Eduardo Rojas, program manager, says its premise is to get the citizens, officials and entrepreneurs to use ICT in a successful way for them to benefit from it and thus improve their quality of life. There are three main elements that shape the success of a digital city: connectivity and infrastructure, content development and strategies of appropriation. “The three elements must coexist simultaneously, otherwise it is difficult to establish the concept of digital city” said the official.

The success achieved by Medellin in this promotions of ICT, has been the commitment and work done by the entities from their areas of influence, where they promote the design of a strategy on inclusion, developing different initiatives for entrepreneurs, students and elderly.

Experts say the main thing is that there is enough political will from government authorities to facilitate these processes that ultimately result in benefits to the entire community.

Medellin, on the road to digital

In the framework of Medellin Digital, it has being achieved to bring the more than 250,000 people TIC´sa. One of the main benefits has been on education. According to Eduardo Rojas, manager of the project, it has been created 160 spaces in educational institutions in the city, where they have successfully placed an average of 100 computers each. Through this initiative, 7,000 children and reinforce their knowledge in the digital environment, by learning through the Internet.

Source: La República (Colombia)