Public works professionals select top five trending technologies for 2021
After tallying nearly 6,000 votes from public works professionals internationally, the American Public Works Association (APWA) has announced its Top Five Trending Technologies for 2021.
APWA's Top Trending Technologies initiative is unique in highlighting trending technologies with practical applications aiding public works professionals in delivering essential services to communities of all sizes, and to meet the needs of various populations. A technology is considered trending due to its projected impact on public works, across all departments, and at all levels.
The 2021 Top Five Trending Technologies are:
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Asset Management Technologies - Assist public works professionals in developing and preparing short- and long-term infrastructure and financial plans, infrastructure assessments, and fleet telematics analyses through public engagement tools and data-driven, real-time dashboards.
Integration of Technologies - Identifies data and how to best leverage it to achieve desired service levels and enable greater accountability, reporting, and efficiency.
Small Cell/5G Technologies - Where deployed, small cells provide coverage to increase productivity and situational awareness by enabling end users to make smarter decisions in real time, providing improved access to information for emergency and first responders as they arrive on the scene.
Technology for Field Crews - Increases efficiency for field crews in the work order system, infrastructure assessments, emergency management reporting, and more. These technologies provide evidence for public works professionals to learn from and incorporate in future efforts.
Virtual Public Engagement Technologies - Encompasses new technologies and best practices to engage the public in virtual meetings and community notifications to gain support and build consensus, at a reduced cost, compared to traditional methods.
"Technology is always advancing, and as the premier technical and educational resource for public works, it is APWA's responsibility to identify the trending technologies that best help public works professionals deliver countless critical services we all rely upon daily," said APWA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Scott D. Grayson, CAE. "Whether by improving connectivity for residents, increasing operational efficiencies, or capturing and responsibly using data from the world around us, these technologies will achieve far-reaching and long-lasting public works successes."
Each year, contenders are selected based on the anticipated impact on the public sector - across all departments and at all levels. Those 16 trending technologies then go toe-to-toe in a bracket challenge, where APWA opens the voting up to public works professionals around the world.