A citizen engagement application (or set of applications) that connects people to the City, empowers them to get involved in their community through volunteering and attending City related events including PhillyRising events and meetings, rewards their efforts through technology and socializes their experience.
Applications should be a mobile (web or native) designed to engage citizens in efforts to improve their City. These apps would serve as resources / tools for locating facilities, learning about events occurring throughout the city, encourage participation in civic events, and connect neighbors. The engagement aspect of these applications is critical – they should link neighbors to other neighbors, and also to individuals from outside the community who are interested in engaging across the city.
The first step for any application is to map city facilities and resources, and then use the phone’s GPS to determine which are nearest to the user’s current location. PhillyRising staff consistently interact with residents who are not aware of the wealth of resources in their neighborhood, and this function will help to ameliorate this condition.
A calendar function (which could also be location-based to determine the nearest meetings) would serve a similar function, but with a more social component – it could help residents connect with others who have similar civic interests, and build local capacity as residents work together.
To encourage this type of participation, a gaming app could include a reward system for engaging in civic activities. This reward system may be tied to discounts at local businesses. Finally, the app might also serve a social media function, providing an online space for residents to discuss activities and build momentum for future projects and programs.
ALlow citizens to easily locate community resources:
- Rec Centers / Parks
- Mini-City Halls
- Police / Fire Locations
- Community Centers
- Health Centers
- (Non-Profits / CDC)
- Computer Labs (KEYSPOTS)
- Career Link Locations
Each location or resource could be displayed on a map on a mobile device showing its location, distance from the individual’s device and can provide a route for them to get there. Each location could include relevant information including phone number, programming, hours of availability, websites, and also allow comments to socialize the experience.
This could be a virtual community calendar app that can be continuously updated, making it easy to locate events:
- Neighborhood clean-ups
- PhillyRising events
- Serve Philadelphia events
- Special Events
- Change by Us
- Summer Programs
- Other City related events and programming.
- Reward involvement through a point or status system that encourages participation.
- Klout / Foursquare type feature, badges, etc.
- Local discounts w/ participating local businesses? In the community where you engage.
- Every component facilitates info-sharing
- City → Citizen, Citizen → City, Citizen → Citizen, City → City
- A way to send alerts to /include active local citizens in efforts
- Notify them of special events or efforts around them / Flash mob response – Town Watch.
- Gets citizens interacting and connecting with each other through technology to improve their community.
- Citizen Feedback
- Link to 311 (Widget to 311 mobile app)