There has been a lot of talk in recent years about “smarter” cities, cities that apply technological solutions to become more effective and more efficient. This Technology Plan lays out a vision for a Chicago which is just that, more effective, more efficient—in a word, smarter. But a city doesn’t become smart based on just the reach of its broadband network or the detail of its data sets.

In Chicago, we believe that the power of technology is driven by the power of the people who use and benefit from that technology. Empowering people to work together, to pursue opportunity, to make the city a better place to live and work—that’s what makes a city smart.

And that’s where you come in.

Building it starts with you. How can you use your skills, your capabilities, and your resources to help build a smarter Chicago? Whether it’s helping to create expanded public Wi-Fi access in underserved neighborhoods, mining the City’s data sets to determine where to deploy scarce resources, or providing mentorship to a young technology entrepreneur, we need your help to make our city smart.

The foundational strategies of Chicago’s Tech Plan revolve around extending digital access to residents and business throughout the city. All of our communities must become smart communities. We envision technology fueling opportunity, inclusion, engagement, and innovation for all Chicagoans.

And that is why this document is not the final word, but the start of a rich, spirited, passionate discussion on how to build a smarter Chicago. We invite you to use the Tech Plan as a jumping off point for adding your voice to the conversation. Join the discussion. Share your ideas. Dream big, and offer your expertise and your energy to push this initiative even further. Please send your comments and ideas to

Technological excellence is woven inextricably into Chicago’s history, and technological innovation will fuel an even brighter future. Together, we can make Chicago the smartest city in the world.

-John Tolva, Chief Technology Officer

-Brenna Berman, Commissioner & Chief Information Officer

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