8 city mobile apps driving citizen engagement


To fight citywide points, many municipalities have leveraged a device majority of residents already use: the smartphone. Of all cell phone customers within the U.S., 80% personal a smartphone and these app-focused units have served as a springboard for officers to have interaction with their residents — on every part from pets to potholes. 

Many cities have 311-type apps — a few of which had been created by SeeClickFix, an organization that builds apps with cities in thoughts — to simplify the method of reporting issues like abandon vehicles or unlawful dumping. These apps additionally allow communication for all sorts of individuals. One examine discovered that lower-income residents and younger, college-aged people had been extra possible to make use of Boston’s 311 app than the normal cellphone quantity or web site. For sure disabled residents, app-enabled engagement might help leverage companies in a manner that wasn’t potential earlier than.

Functions are usually not restricted to trash pickups and reporting graffiti, nevertheless. Some cities even have bespoke apps, like San Francisco’s water high quality app for its seashores and Calgary’s pet adoption app. As cities undertake extra sensors and open information platforms, extra apps will possible spring up for all kinds of various companies. In the meantime, Smart Cities Dive rounded up eight examples of apps which are pushing cities towards smarter futures.



New York: DSNY Info

Earlier this month, the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) launched DSNY Info, an app for smartphones and tablets that enables customers to set sanitation service reminders, get updates on weather-related delays and entry particular occasion schedules. The app additionally connects residents with donateNYC, a website that helps New Yorkers donate second-hand gadgets — usually textiles and family — that may be reused. The app additionally contains recommendations on how you can cut back, reuse and recycle, which pushes New Yorkers to assist attain town’s objective of zero waste to landfills by 2030.


Seattle: Find It, Fix It

Seattle’s Find It, Fix It app lets residents report hazards or indecencies like deserted autos, graffiti and potholes to town. Users merely take images of the problem straight within the app, write extra particulars and mark it on a map. According to Seattle Public Utilities​’ Planning & Program Management Division Director​ Susan Fife-Ferris, who not too long ago spoke at WasteExpo 2017, this app is only one of some ways town is gathering information and dealing towards a clear trade of metropolis data. 




Boston: BOS:311

Originally referred to as Citizens Connect, BOS:311 debuted in 2009 to make it simpler for residents to report issues to town. Users can report graffiti, useless animals, illegally parked vehicles or schedule waste choose ups. The report will get positioned on a map that can be accessible within the app. Reports may be shared on social media, and customers may also join with the service by tweeting @BOS311. Over 1 million experiences have been submitted by customers to this point.


Pittsburgh: GO MOBILE PGH

Pittsburgh Parking Authority lets residents and guests alike pay for parking through their telephones. Powered by Parkmobile, drivers can park at spots with GO MOBILE PGH indicators and use the app to register their automobile for the spot and pay for parking. The app lets customers set 15-minute parking expiration notifications and even lengthen parking classes from the cellphone till the utmost time is reached.



City of Columbus


MYCOLUMBUS tries to do all of it. Along with reporting issues like graffiti and potholes, the app features a native information feed, hyperlinks to town’s social media presence and assets for 4 mayoral initiative: My Neighborhood, Get Active, Get Green and 311.

The My Neighborhood tab has a listing of bus schedules, capital undertaking data, neighborhood satisfaction data and occasions, well being inspections of space eating places, markets, swimming pools, spas and tattoo parlors. Get Active has details about parks, neighborhood facilities, golf programs, swimming pools, sports activities amenities, park and path guides.

The Get Green initiative tries to encourage sustainable actions with pointers and information, together with data on which native eating places and companies are participating in inexperienced practices. The 311 tab affords basic capabilities to submit sightings of eyesores like dumping and graffiti together with an space to lets customers join information and alerts.


San Francisco: SFBeaches

Released by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, SFBeaches lets customers test water high quality at their favourite shore spots. Shoreline micro organism are routinely monitored at fifteen completely different stations in San Francisco year-round. The app exhibits a map with warnings, together with if there are mixed sewer overflows (CSOs).


City of Calgary Pets


Calgary: City of Calgary Pets

Calgary’s Animal Service in Canada put out City of Calgary Pets to make it straightforward for locals to search out adoptable pets, in addition to monitor down misplaced cats and canines. For lacking pets, homeowners can see if their cat or canine is at a shelter ready to be reunited. There can be a map with the place offleashing is allowed, a piece to report aggressive animal incidents and a information to search out the closest 24-hour emergency vet clinic. This is only one of 12 apps pushed by town of Calgary.

Atlanta: Cycle Atlanta

Cycle Atlanta was developed with a number of governmental departments and Georgia Tech to trace customers biking routes, and lets riders flag potholes and different issues for town. That information is uploaded to a server that helps inform town of the place individuals are and aren’t biking, permitting them to focus in on biking infrastructure — like bike paths — the place it’s wanted most.

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