Data-Smart City Solutions

The Responsive City Cycle

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  • Betsy Gardner staff headshot Stephen Goldsmith faculty headshot
    Betsy Gardner, Stephen Goldsmith
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Research summary

Trust can take a long time to build and short time to lose. In the past two decades trust in government has declined precipitously, including a drop in trust in local government which traditionally scored highly on trust metrics with residents.

This paper presents a form of trust-building based on responsiveness with a focus on harnessing digital tools and 21st century methods for engaging with and learning from residents. Additionally, cities are at an inflection point due to the influx of billions of dollars in federal funding through the American Rescue Plan Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This presents an opportunity for cities to meaningfully engage residents around spending, repair, and construction decisions and gain back trust through the “loop of responsiveness” we introduce in this paper.

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