Kenosha and Racine Citizens Weigh In on Closing Service Gaps with Technology

Published: May 8, 2023

Citizen EngageKenosha, Wis.- The University of Wisconsin-Parkside Center for Research in Innovation and Smart Cities will present preliminary results from a survey of citizens in Kenosha and Racine Counties on May 23 at 4:30 p.m. in the Student Center. Funded by a grant from the Tommy Thompson Center on Public Leadership, the project seeks to give citizens across the counties a voice in how technology might be useful in closing service gaps in areas such as transportation, health, communication. Professors Mita Banerjee and John Ward, along with a team of 8 students, developed and implemented the survey, and will use mapping technology to display and analyze information about our communities.

Governments in Southeastern Wisconsin are working to improve their communities. In 2019, Racine was the first city in Wisconsin to be chosen by the Smart Cities Council as one of the five winners of its Smart Cities Readiness Challenge. The Kenosha Innovation Neighbourhood is a multimillion dollar investment in a smart neighborhood development. In the counties, work is moving forward on increasing connectivity and government responsiveness. Of those surveyed, only 5% felt that their local governments are ‘very prepared’ to take on smart technology.

Peggy James, Interim Director of the Center, commented on smart cities, “The goal of a smart community is to enhance the quality of life of its citizens through advanced technology that allows for a bottom-up policy approach rather than a top down approach. Community values and needs vary across individuals and families of different races, ethnicities, income, etc., and these differences should affect the way technology is prioritized, utilized, & integrated across services & policies. “

The 90 minute presentation on Citizen Needs in Kenosha and Racine will begin at 4:30pm in the Student Center of UW-Parkside. The event is free and open to the public. Reservations are encouraged, but not required, at

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