Municipal administration, social integration and citizen involvement can’t be understood without procedures allowing a higher interaction between the community and the municipal government.
Transparency, involvement and cooperation are the centerpieces of the open government applied in Córdoba.
The Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) era forced us to innovate and upgrade the municipal administration tasks, the way services are provided and the way to interact with society overall in order to meet its requirements.
The digital, social and generational gap is still marked in Córdoba. However, services have been progressively added so citizens can access easily from a computer, smartphone or digital kiosk; from the council’s financial, budget or operating information, to the enforcement of municipal taxes.
The challenges to add rural areas to the digital era are complex because of the town geography. Since it is located in the Veracruz state High Mountains, it avoids even having quality cellular telephony –Internet access is not available– which increases the exclusion, social isolation, and limits social and economic development.
Córdoba Digital is a government program aimed at providing the community an alternate way to encourage, build and sustain innovating urban spaces, without losing sight of social, economy and technology development for the whole population.
That’s why this administration invests around $60,000 to provide the first open Internet network for all rural communities in Córdoba. This network has the purpose of providing tools enabling free telephone communication with relatives in the country, or even overseas, as well as virtual education options to increase the citizens’ social and economy development.
Three digital kiosks entered into operation at the municipal portal half year ago. Citizens can use it to pay some basic services like water, drainage and property tax, in addition to access the civil registration database.
In the meanwhile, 35 digital parking meters came into operation in July; these parking meters will add mobility to the Historic Centre and order to public parking system. Furthermore, add resources that will return to society through a comprehensive municipal infrastructure improvement program.
Córdoba is taking serious steps to generate an open, collaborative government, by innovating and promoting networks and knowledge. No exclusions.
Tomás Ríos Bernal
Presidente Municipal de Córdoba, Veracruz, México