Mobile App Demonstrates Riverside’s Innovative Side at Intelligent Communities Competition

Riverside’s creative and high-tech approach to more effectively report, track and resolve non-emergency problems was recently presented at the Intelligent Communities Forum (ICF) Competition in New York on June 3.

The City’s 311 mobile application allows iPhone, Android and now Blackberry mobile device users to report issues (e.g. pot holes, code violations) via their phone. The message is immediately sent to the City’s 311 system and opens a work order for City staff to resolve the problem.

One of the most notable aspects of the program is that graffiti incidents from the mobile app are processed by marking the locations using a GPS locator. This information is then sent to the police department and graffiti tag information is immediately updated electronically and stored in a database. Plus, the system tracks the costs for cleaning up graffiti. The final data is forwarded to the City Attorney’s office where perpetrators and their families are charged with repayment of any costs associated with removing graffiti in our community.

The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) named the Eindhoven Region of the Netherlands as the world’s Intelligent Community of the Year 2011.  The City of Riverside leaped from being in the Top 21 last year into the Top 7 in 2011.  Moving forward, the City will continue to create an intelligent, connected and technologically-competitive, innovative economy.

Riverside Named One of Top 7 Intelligent Communities of the Year

Early this year, the Intelligent Communities Foundation named Riverside one of the Top 7 Intelligent Communities of the Year, recognizing the city as a global leader in innovation and municipal technologies. This award represents Riverside’s continued efforts to ensure  “Lifelong Learning for All” through cutting-edge technology infrastructure and the use of digital resources to create a connected environment, further enhancing our “Innovative Economy“.

Riverside was originally chosen for a Smart 21 Communities Award, which recognizes the top 21 tech-savvy cities worldwide, and with this announcement, Riverside advanced to one of the Top 7, along with only three other US cities. The award recognizes Riverside for its commitment to broadband, citywide innovation and its knowledge-economy. It was specifically recognized for leadership in municipal WiFi, its expansive Digital Inclusion Program, the city’s SmartRiverside technology initiatives, e-waste processing, and its collaboration with universities and private technology chief executive officers. “The Top Seven of 2011 have demonstrated perseverance and an innovative dedication to the future of their communities,” said Intelligent Communities Foundation Co-founder Louis Zacharilla.

SmartRiverside, a non-profit headed by city officials and private high-tech firms, is dedicated to attracting and retaining high-tech businesses, creating a tech friendly environment, as well as ensuring Riverside residents are technologically equipped to compete in school and in the workforce.

“The Top 7 designation is an incredible honor recognizing that Riverside is a world leader in innovation and municipal technologies,” said Mayor Ron Loveridge, the chair of the SmartRiverside board of directors. “That Riverside competes, and wins, among cities across the globe illustrates our commitment to municipal innovation in technology.”

The following communities were named to the Top Seven based on analysis of their nominations by a team of independent academic experts:

  • Riverside, California USA
  • Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA.
  • Dublin, Ohio, USA.
  • Eindhoven, Netherlands.
  • Issy-les-Moulineaux, France.
  • Stratford, Ontario, Canada
  • Windsor-Essex, Ontario, Canada

Cultural Heritage Grant Received for Cliffside Neighborhood

City of Riverside Community Development staff are pleased to announce that the City’s Cultural Heritage program has just received another grant from the State Department of Parks and Recreation, Office of Historic Preservation.  The grant award of $22,500 will be used to perform a historic review of the “Cliffside Neighborhood Potential Historic District”, furthering the goal of Seizing Our Destiny Route 7, Transforming Spaces into Places.

This is the fourth State grant to the Cultural Heritage Program in the past six years and brings the City’s ten year grant total to $196,300.  Cultural Heritage staff are currently busy working on last year’s grant, which will result in the creation of a thematic district summarizing the story of the Harada Family, including an iPod-available walking tour of the district’s important sites (see Seizing Our Destiny Route 6).

Riverside Receives Platinum Award for Being a Green Machine!

Riverside was one of a handful of cities to receive international, platinum-level recognition for Leadership and Corporate Social Responsibility for its “Green Riverside/Seizing Our Destiny” entry by the Association of Marketing and Communications Professionals (ACMP) in their international Communitas Awards. According to the Communitas criteria, the Leadership award is only given to entries showing excellence in multiple categories.

Riverside also brought home two Gold Communitas Awards for its “Sustainability Programs” and “Green Initiatives” entries, which highlighted the city’s ongoing efforts in creating and implementing environmental policies and programs such as their Green Action Plan – which outlines Riverside’s strategies for increased use of renewable energy resources, preservation of water resources, reduction of greenhouse gases, waste management, recycling, and transportation, that help to maintain and cultivate a more sustainable community.

Read the full press release here.

The Arc Riverside Uses Playtime to Build Community

As a perfect example of a collaboration to build community and encourage use of our local parks, The Arc of Riverside County will once again host My Play Club, a monthly play date program for children with and without disabilities. On the third Saturday of each month, The Arc brings families together at the Universally Accessible Playground to participate in a fun-filled event bringing friendship and awareness to hundreds of children in the community. The day’s activities include entertainment, face painting and refreshments for My Play Club registrants. The event will take place on Saturday July 16 from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Fairmount Park Universally Accessible Playground.  The playground is a remarkable example of ‘Big City Recreation with a Hometown Feel’, which is one of the great things about quality of life in Riverside.   

In partnership with Shane’s Inspiration and the City of Riverside Parks, Recreation & Community Services Department, The Arc will continue to promote inclusion and break down barriers through My Play Club.  Registration is FREE and can be done via The Arc’s website at ArcRiverside.org

La Sierra Neighborhood Association Discusses Seizing Our Destiny

After an overview presentation was given to the La Sierra/Arlanza Neighborhood Alliance (LANA) at its July meeting, the group discussed ways to ensure their area was actively participating in Seizing Our Destiny efforts.  The message to the neighborhood group was clear: anyone can participate in helping Riverside to advance towards its chosen destination – it just takes initiative and awareness.  Easy ways this can be achieved are through the sharing of information about activities in your neighborhood through the community calendar or this blog.  Businesses and residents can also provide pictures, press releases or community updates for ‘Destiny’ or media use by emailing information to info@seizingourdestiny.com.  And neighborhood groups are encouraged to align their projects to the Seizing Our Destiny routes; examples of this include: holding a community block party (Route 6: Entertainment), starting a community garden (Routes 5 & 10: Green/Community), or hosting a community clean-up (Route 7: Places).  Everyone can help ensure Riverside is an even better place to live, work and play for future generations.

If your group or organization would like a presentation or moderated discussion about Seizing Our Destiny, email us at info@seizingourdestiny.com or call 951-826-5403.

Jr League Helps Riverside Families Get in Shape at the fitDay Family Boot Camp

The Jr League of Riverside is taking on helping Riverside become a healthier, more fit community through by hosting a fitDay Family Boot Camp. Join them Saturday, July 9th at the Bobby Bonds Sports Complex for free family fitness, adult circuit training led by professional Sixth Man Training and kids activities too. If too hot, we’ll be in the Gym.

Dolly Rauch, www.fitRiverside.org, 951-323-3888