Geo-location based pictures of any incivilities or disorders noticed in public areas
BetterStreet is a mobile application available on App Store and Google Play and takes also the form of a service online. Launched in 2013 as result of a small start up competition in Belgium, the service enables any citizen with a smartphone to take a geo-location based picture of any incivilities or disorders noticed in public areas, and to communicate it to the responsible municipality of the region. The picture can also be complemented with a brief comment of the issues to be solved by public authorities. The objective is not simply about creating a platform where people can complain and criticize the authorities. The approach is much more constructive and allows the citizen to follow the progress of their notifications, get informed when the problem is solved, and even reward municipalities for their good job! The company assures the maintenance and the development of the platform and propose integrated services of data management and processing to municipalities for annual subscription fee around 5000 euro, depending on the number of citizens living in the municipalities.
In practice, this Cloud service is very user-friendly and directly proposes three basic options at the opening of the app: Signalling a problem, making a suggestion, or sending a reward for the resolution of a problem. If the citizen chooses to signal a problem, the app automatically open the camera of his/her smartphone and allows the person to take one picture of the noticed disorder or issue. The next step consists of classifying the issue into a particular category, such as public lighting, streets and pedestrian ways, or street furniture, and adding a brief comment describing the issue to help the municipalities to organized interventions. The service also allows municipalities to have global view of the entire the notifications, with several possibilities of filtering and sorting, including an option to represent the notifications per category on a map, which is extremely useful in organizing and planning multiple localized interventions. For the 50% of citizens that do not own a smart phone, the similar service also exists on their website, which has an modern and user-friendly interphase.
It is also on their website that any people can view all the notifications and their progress in any location and therefore observe how a municipality is active in resolving its disorders and incivilities. In any doubt, this innovative app offers smart and effective supports and even incentives to municipalities to develop and maintain attractive public areas for their citizens to live in!
The website of BetterStreet: https://betterstreet.org/about