Global Cities on the Web: An Empirical Typology of Municipal Websites

Marc Holzer, Aroon Manoharan, Gregg Van Ryzin

Abstract


Municipalities across the world are rapidly adopting e-government to improve public service delivery and provide one-stop government access to citizens. Using data from a sample of world cities, we describe the features of municipal websites and employ cluster analysis to create an empirical typology. Our results suggest that world cities can be classified into four types: 1) digitally mature cities, 2) digitally moderate cities, 3) digitally minimal cities, and 4) digitally marginal cities. This classification of cities largely reflects the social, political and economic context of countries and the resulting clusters exhibit closely similar shapes and differ considerably in level, indicating the trend of staged adoption of e-government among world cities. Moreover, the cities in the digitally mature and moderate clusters are associated with a higher GDP per capita, and percentage of Internet users, however they are not necessarily in the most democratic nations. Based on our overall findings, we suggest some hypotheses that derive from our typology and lines of future investigation for e-governance researchers.


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