It’s not easy to be a mayor. As the American president Lyndon Johnson said ”When the burdens of the presidency seem unusually heavy, I always remind myself it could be worse. I could be a mayor.”
As a mayor you are the forefront of your government decisions, and most of the time your directions are clear. When things don’t go as planned, you are the one who has to stand up in front of your electorate, and when it’s all good, the central power holds all the credit. As a mayor, your main job is to look out for your city’s residents (and non-residents), protect them and ensure the best quality of life with what the government gives you.
While you’ve heard of the benefits of a smart city, the truth is – you never actually considered it. Mainly because, as a study by Deloitte showed, there are too many competing priorities.
Besides these competing priorities, there are multiple challenges that need to be addressed. Luckily, there is one software solution that can tackle all of these challenges and help you make your first step to a smart city.
SmartCity app is a complete digital solution that simplifies requests and claims management, and communication inside the city. The software solution includes three modules that are permanently in touch:
- mobile app – available on both iOS and Android, and it can be accessed by both citizens and public office representatives;
- website – available for both citizens and public office representatives;
- back-office platform – available only for the public office representatives.
What are the most pressing challenges that SmartCity app can tackle and help your city become more engaged?
When you think of smart cities, the first thing that comes to mind is that they are expensive.
The reason is simple – one example of a smart city involves using sensor technology to collect and analyze information to improve the standard of living for citizens. Sensors collect data on anything from rush hour statistics to crime rates to overall air quality.
Complicated and costly infrastructure is involved in the installation and maintenance of these sensors.
Major urban areas have already been challenged to replace decades-old infrastructures, such as underground wiring, steam pipes, and transport tunnels, and to install high-speed internet. Broadband wireless services are on the rise, although there are still areas in major cities where access is limited.
Funding for new infrastructure projects is limited, and authorization processes may take years. The installation of new sensors and other improvements causes temporary – but still frustrating – problems for people living in these cities.
How does SmartCity tackle the infrastructure problem?
SmartCity solution is developed so that it uses as little resources as possible, while helping city halls eliminate the bureaucracy, increase employee effectiveness, and improve citizens’ trust.
There are only 2 things both citizens and municipalities need:
- a connection to the internet – either through wi-fi or a service provider;
- any kind of smartphone.
At the same time it was developed to be implemented fast, regardless of the size of the local administration.
Our solution does not need any other hardware investment, as it is meant to create a bridge of communication and trust between citizens and the mayor.
#2 Lack of experienced professionals
How many employees which are able to understand the full technological process of a software solution are inside a city hall? Quite a few, if any. Moreover, learning the necessary technical skills to develop or manage a smart city solution is very ineffective, both cost and time wise.
This is another major challenge for smart cities – the lack of skilled professionals. Technical experts are needed to prepare a strategy for the success of the smart city project, to identify areas for technology implementation, and to operate these tools.
That means city halls have to include in their budget a new department that includes the number of professionals required to create a strategy, understand the technology and come up with a plan, and those who will manage it on a daily basis.
How does SmartCity tackle the lack of experienced professionals?
Managing a city regardless of its size is difficult. Many times citizens do not see how the city hall improves their daily lives, because they simply do not know. By investing in this platform, city halls will be a daily partner for their problems, without having to employ highly trained specialists.
SmartCity was designed to facilitate access across all departments inside the city hall and government offices, without needing to undergo a laborious training.
All the things you need to know to manage the SmartCity platform can be taught in a matter of days.
#3 Overcoming regulatory barriers
While land use, confidentiality, and cybersecurity regulations are crucial components of the smart city puzzle, particularly when it comes to building trust with the community, they can also have the unintended consequence of slowing down innovation.
According to the report, 58 percent of hyperlinked cities in Western Europe rank laws and policy restrictions as the biggest obstacle to smart solution implementation, undoubtedly due to the EU General Data Protection Act (GDPR), which restricts how cities can use citizen data.
How does SmartCity tackle the regulatory barriers?
Our platform is fully GDPR compliant and it ensures each user its right to privacy.
#4 Making all citizens feel included
As a report from Deloitte stated, Smart city initiatives have the potential to expand access to city services, improve public engagement, and spur economic growth. However, smart city design and implementation shortcomings, coupled with the digital divide between different population segments, might unintentionally leave some communities behind.
Over the last decade, smart city initiatives have leveraged technology in many ways. Data platforms and cloud-based systems enable cities to gather comprehensive data and make data-driven decisions and mobile applications allow residents to more easily communicate with local governments.
How does SmartCity include all citizens?
SmartCity was designed and developed having in mind one need users of all age need – to be as easy to navigate as buying electronics online. Its features are highly intuitive and it can be used by users who are at least somewhat familiar with the social networks.
Besides its highly intuitive design, SmartCity can be used across multiple devices – smartphone, laptop or tablet – regardless of their operating system.
4 major benefits of implementing the SmartCity solution in your city
- 0% paperwork for the municipality staff. SmartCity App is designed to reduce the paperwork needed to solve a request, while saving time and cutting costs around multiple departments.
- Instant online interaction with the citizens is a very efficient method to communicate any decisions, while greatly reducing the health risks. For example, if you have to announce where a certain part of the population can get vaccinated against COVID-19, or if a street is blocked due to renovations and people have to detour their usual routes, it can be done seamlessly and immediately.
- Give citizens a sense of security and offer him the chance to be part of something bigger – any request by the citizens, for example there are some aggressive and abandoned dogs in a certain area of the city, or a car was vandalized, is instantly sent towards the city halls departments, regardless of the working hours. In this way, the citizen alerted his peers and helped making them feel safe, while informing the mayor and the city hall of a certain problem that can be fixed right away.
- Using real-time feedback from the citizens helps them feel heard and, most importantly – can actively participate in their city’s life. Having a mobile app that allows them to send requests or claims instantly, alert others, and have a continuously updating map will significantly increase citizens’ sense of community and have a higher trust in the public office and its representatives.
SmartCity app for mobile available for both iOS and Android
In order to be an intuitive mobile app, we focused on a simple design, with functionalities that are efficient, regardless of the type of smartphone used by the citizens. In this way they can petition a request or claim as easy as ordering online. Among the functionalities there are:
- direct upload of the requests regarding the city – the request can have both text, and photo;
- real time tracking of requests;
- instant email to the concerned department;
- everything is done online, without any paperwork;
- all requests can be seen on the city’s map inside the app;
- access to the city halls’ contact (phone, email) instantly.
SmartCity online portal
SmartCity website will ensure a higher transparency of the city halls decisions and how the requests and claims are being settled. Among the functionalities, are:
- responsive design customized with branding elements (colors, logos, etc.);
- integrated CMS system for articles, news, and events management;
- complaints displayed directly on the map;
- complaints can be added by citizens or by municipality employees;
- dedicated page for each department providing also contact and program details;
- easy access to updated stats and reports;
- installing Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Facebook microdata, and generating sitemap.xml;
- SSL certificate install and free hosting;
- GDPR compliance;
- website maintenance;
- security updates;
- SEO updates (according to Google algorithms);
- The Portal can be used standalone or with Mobile Application and Backoffice online.
SmartCity backoffice – Intuitive system designed with the municipality staff in mind
The requests or claims are received in real time and the communication with the citizens is managed automatically. Some characteristics of the backoffice:
- What requests did a particular citizen have?
- Do you want to add new events?
- Do you want to inform the citizens with the latest news?
- Do you want to manage all requests and claims that came from all the communication channels (including Facebook)?
You can see all users from a single dashboard. Manage their account, requests and permissions
What are some of the functionalities of SmartCity backoffice:
- when a new event (complaint) is added to the Mobile App, the system sends an automated email to the departments in charge;
- faster synchronization of the public institutions’ activities and an easier complaints management;
- easy edits for complaints/events/information (list / map / filtering / add / edit / delete);
- multiple-view options for complaints (categories / subcategories / departments);
- intuitive management for users and internal users (list / add / edit / delete);
- easy edits and management for cities and counties (list / add / edit);
- complaint localization – this can be visualized directly on Google Maps, and administration employees can identify the location right away;
- instant notifications in the Mobile App for every new event, announcement, or complaint added.
See the requests, what user has a specific request, check the requests that were solved
Ready to take the first step in making your city smarter?
With more than 130 developers, we can offer you a complete team of experienced developers or a dedicated pool of developers with more than 10 years of experience in Roweb only, with the appropriate technical capabilities for your particular needs. Second of all, you can save time on the whole hiring process and office expenses, and more.
You will benefit from the experience of more than 17 years of being on the market, with teams that developed from the company’s beginning and are specialized in industries like: recruiting & HR, real estate, retail & e-commerce, tourism & hospitality, charity, and non-profits, associations, insurance, financial services, IT equipment trading/reclaiming, transport and logistics, e-health, to name a few.
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