September 17, 2013

Mayor Emanuel Releases City of Chicago’s First Ever Technology Plan

Comprehensive Plan Lays Out Digital Roadmap that will Allow Chicago to Expand Cutting-Edge Approach to Technology, Creating Jobs and Improving Quality of Life for Residents

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel today released the city of Chicago’s first ever technology plan, a framework that will allow the city to maintain its leadership in technology and build on a commitment to modern infrastructure, smart communities, and technological innovation.

“Technology is critical for both job creation and improving quality of life for our residents,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Both of these areas are top priorities in the city of Chicago and this framework will help us realize our collective potential. I see the development of technology in Chicago as a key area of focus for the future.”

The Tech plan starts from a position of strength in technology —including a robust data-science program, world-renowned research centers and universities, and a fast- growing data center industry —
and  highlights
28 initiatives within five broad strategies that together will enable Chicago to realize
its vision of becoming the city where technology fuels opportunity, inclusion, engagement,
and innovation.  The plan is focused on:

(A) Next-Generation Infrastructure

Establish next-generation infrastructure that enables residents and businesses to become more digitally-engaged.

(B) Every Community a Smart Community

Bridge the digital divide to 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.

(C ) Efficient, Effective and Open Government

Leverage data and new technology to
make government more efficient, effective, and open.

(D) Civic Innovation

Work with civic technology innovators to develop creative solutions to city challenges.

(E) Technology Sector Growth

Encourage the vibrancy of Chicago’s Technology Sector by attracting and retaining STEM professionals and supporting the creation and expansion of technology companies.

“This Technology Plan lays out a vision for a Chicago which is more effective, more efficient —
in a word, smarter,” said John Tolva, the city’s Chief Technology Officer. “In Chicago, we believe that the power of technology is driven by the power of the people who use and benefit from that technology, and we are seeking to empower people to use the technology.”

"The Tech Plan is a tool of engagement between the residents of the City and their government as we work together to solve the problems facing our communities and embrace technology as an innovative solution to those problems," said Brenna Berman, commissioner of the city's department of innovation and technology. "I look forward to working with Chicagoans and hearing about what they'd like to see as we further explore the use of technology in city government."

The Tech Plan, which is attached to this release, is designed to be the starting point for a discussion with the community. Residents, businesses, and other organizations are encouraged to view the tech plan and submit feedback at, or via email at


# # #