Shreveport joining ranks of smart cities with ‘The People’s Budget’

Shreveporters to access "The People's Budget"

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - During the campaign Mayor Adrian Perkins promised to make Shreveport a so-called “Smart City” by utilizing the latest technology to improve how the city serves its citizens.

Now in just week five of his new administration, it appears Perkins is making good on that campaign promise. It’s being called “The People’s Budget.”

"This is what we're calling 'The People's Budget.' I actually got that name from councilman (Grayson) Boucher," recalled Shreveport's new Chief Technology Officer Hanson.

The city expects their digital budget to go online no later than late February or early March. This online project will cost the city of Shreveport zero dollars according to Hanson, because they used open source and free software to help create it.

Hanson and others described this project as nothing short of an online interactive version of the city’s budget, which will change in real-time as the city council makes any changes to the budget.

“This is a transparency initiative by our administration.," Hanson said. "That was the mandate that we have more open data and more transparency and we can engage the public a little easier when they can understand this a little more easily.”

Hanson showed us how much money each city department is expected to spend and how much money there is to pay for it.

"And what's good to see about this is in red is the expense and green is the revenue. So this is a balanced budget."

This online budget also breaks down each department line-by-line, using what the experts call a "visual interface" making all the numbers easy to understand.

As for why people should care about project, Shreveport’s new Communications Director Ben Riggs told us: “This is their money. This is a representation of their money and shows them exactly how each dollar is being allocated, expenses, revenues, everything.”

Hanson concluded that to create a professionally done, printed version of this online budget would cost tens of thousands of dollars.

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