03 October 2009

311 See Click Fix

There is a movement afoot to encourage citizen participation in correcting neighborhood problems. Some cities have a 311 number and some have developed iPhone applications whereby you can notify city departments about litter or maintenance issues. There is a general iPhone app called See Click Fix which affixes the photo to a geographic location and assembles the complaints onto a map. Then, what is supposed to happen is that a city worker pulls the data and sends it to the relevant department. Seems like there is a lot of potential here to get more power into the hands of the people regarding everyday annoyances.

Article in NY Times.

iBurgh, Pittsburgh's effort


Anonymous said...

There's also an effort to create a standard to ensure interoperability for 311 technology between cities:


CityKin said...

^thanks. I'm very interested to see how different cities embrace this technology.

DP said...

This prompted me to find the Citywide Customer Service Call Center, which seems to provide the 311 function (just with a less memorable phone number). They also have an online request form. I like the fact that you can search previous complaints based on street/neighborhood.

Any idea why the city doesn't use the 311 number like other cities?

In NYC, when 311 was implemented there was a huge advertising campaign and the 311 logo appears on just about everything the city puts out. Why no similar push in Cincy?

As far as an iPhone/mobile app, as a starter, it seems (to this non-programmer) like it would be pretty easy to make a non-sanctioned app that takes advantage of the existing online form. But you would obviously miss out on the photo/GPS functionality. But it would at least be a start. If more people used it, the city might invest in new functionality.

Seems like a good campaign opportunity for some city council/mayoral candidate...

DP said...

OK - answered some of my own questions with this memo from Milton Dohoney to the Mayor and Council. (for some reason you can't view the pdf directly - you have to download it first - sorry.)

Sounds like they're looking at it, but I don't know if I agree with the recommendation against a Basic 311 system - basically that "more people will call". And that's bad because?

CityKin said...

^thanks DP for finding that memo. I think that this is a critical basic service that the City should provide. 311 could also be a County/City collaboration.

I am now plugging Cincinnati's number 591-6000 into my cell phone. I needed it this morning as we waited for the school bus next to an exremely overloaded public garbage can.

I also plan on using the online reporting method more often.