Hamilton rolls out its first digital strategy


Published March 7, 2023 at 11:52 am

The City of Hamilton, acknowledging it has “room for improvement” with the ease-of-use of online municipal services, has officially launched its digital strategy.

Recently approved by city council, it is considered to be a framework that will “enable the seamless delivery of customer-centered digital services for residents, businesses, partners and employees, and continue to enhance confidence and overall accessibility in the City and its services.” During the public engagement stage of its development, which was conducted both online and in person, consultants found that the number of respondents who are frequent users for digital services, lags behind those who report “average to above average” ease with using online services.

The survey indicated:

  • 89 per cent of respondents report average to above average competency using digital services
  • 60 per cent are frequent users who use digital city services daily, weekly or monthly
  • 71 per cent are satisfied to very satisfied with digital city services

A statement said Hamilton is aiming to make digitized municipal services “easy to use” and “connected” across channels. Municipal employees will also receive training in these areas.

“Our city is quickly growing and evolving, and the intent of the Digital Strategy is to adapt to these changes and anticipate the future needs of our community,” says Cyrus Tehrani, Hamilton’s chief digital officer and director of innovation.

The new Digital Strategy, whose development was funded through a provincial government audit and accountability found, is an action item in Hamilton’s 2021-2025 Economic Development Action Plan (EDAP).

Some of the new online features and functions that the city has launched in recent years include:

  • HSRNow Transit
  • Parking Payment apps
  • Virtual trials for provincial offences
  • Green and blue bin, and bulk material pick-up requests
  • Marriage licence requests
  • Property request lookups
  • eBilling service for taxation
  • Hamilton Fire Department online services
  • Vaccine appointment bookings.

The city says further enhancements include additional open data sets, a beta release of the City Dashboard, a new Hamilton.ca website, and updating nearly 150 online PDF forms to be both accessible and fillable.

“We live in a digital age, and most people turn to digital communication first when they want to learn or inquire about their city,” Mayor Andrea Horwath states.

“This new Digital Strategy will help ensure we develop the city’s digital assets and channels to provide open, inclusive, accessible and transparent information to Hamiltonians.”

As is the case with most action items in longer-term city plans, the elected leadership of the city will receive an annual progress report on the initiative after 12 months.

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