Digital cities? Look south.

A survey of technologically advanced munipalities finds plenty of action in the South and Southwest but major Northeast city governments are behind the times.
Written by Richard Koman, Contributor
Where are the most wired municipal governments in the US? According to a new survey, the answer is, the Sunbelt. News.com reports that the Center for Digital Government's 2006 "Digital Cities Rankings" found that many of the most advanced local governments were in the South and the Southwest.
Rankings were divided into four categories based on population. For largest cities (250,000 or more residents), the winner was Corpus Christi, Texas. For cities with 125,000 to 249,999 residents, Alexandria, Va., and Madison, Wis., tied for first place.

The category for cities with 75,000 to 124,999 residents also saw a tie for the top spot: this time, it was between Ogden City, Utah, and Roanoke, Va. In the fourth category, consisting of cities with populations between 30,000 and 74,999, the top position was held by Delray Beach, Fla.

But major Northeast cities like New York and Boston didn't make the list at all and only one New England city, Manchester, CT, made the list. One of the biggest surprises was that the northeastern United States, home to major cities like New York, Boston and Philadelphia, was left off the list almost entirely. The sole New England municipality to make an appearance on any list was Manchester, Conn., in the 30,000 to 74,999 category.

And aside from the District of Columbia and the eight Virginia cities, the mid-Atlantic was likewise left unrepresented. Equally surprising was the total absence of cities in the Silicon Valley region: the three California cities that made the list were in the southern half of the state.

But that doesn't mean that the San Francisco Bay Area is secretly behind the times. A potential reason for the area's absence could be that local technology initiatives are brought forth by corporations rather than government, like Google's local Wi-Fi in its hometown of Mountain View.

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