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City of Williamsburg, VA Launches Smartphone App for Citizens


Want to report a missed trash pickup?  Need a recycling bin?  The City of Williamsburg now has an app for that. As part of its ongoing effort to improve performance and accessibility, the City of Williamsburg has launched an official smartphone app – CITY411 – that enables residents to submit of a variety of non-emergency service requests from an iPhone or Android-based phone. 

The app allows residents to send text and audio messages as well as a photo. CITY411 can be downloaded for free from both the Apple App Store and the Android Market. City Council will view a demonstration of the new app at their Council Meeting Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 2pm.           

"We’re always seeking methods to engage our residents that are efficient, convenient and easy to use,” said City Manager Jack Tuttle.  “More and more residents are using smartphone apps for everything from travel and education to banking and shopping.  CITY411 allows citizens to communicate with the City the same way they’re communicating and interacting in all areas of their lives.”           

The app was developed free of charge by App-Order, the leader in smartphone apps for government agencies, through the City’s partnership with the Alliance for Innovation.  “By partnering with the Alliance for Innovation we were able to customize the latest technology to meet the specific needs of Williamsburg citizens,” said Mark Barham, Director of Information Technology.  “CITY411 was developed at no cost to the City or to residents, is very user-friendly, and has the flexibility to add features and uses in the future.”             

The CITY411 app is the latest in a continuing effort by the City to use technology to improve customer service and community engagement. Previous initiatives the City has undertaken include: 2011:             

Launched web-based Public Dashboards that graphically display real time data on the City’s performance across all operations.           

Upgraded the City’s streaming video capability to improve citizen engagement with live and archived video of meetings, agendas integrated with the video and better searchability. 2010: The City created a mobile-optimized version of the website which is easier to read and navigate on the smaller screen.            

The City also launched a CITY411 text messaging service to report service needs and receive emergency updates through their text-enabled cell phone.   2009: The City launched a twitter feed, @WilliamsburgGov, and Youtube channel, www.youtube.com/WilliamsburgGov 2008:  Launched a Facebook page (Williamsburg.Virginia)            

Launched an online Williamsburg OpenForum for citizens to provide input on a variety of issues, including the Budget and Goals-setting process for the City (In 2010 it was integrated with the City's Facebook page and twitter account).   

The Alliance for Innovation is an international network of progressive governments and partners committed to transforming local government by accelerating the development and dissemination of innovations.  They seek out innovative practices, challenge existing business models, exchange knowledge, and provide products and services that help their members perform at their best.  Together with their partners, International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and Arizona State University (ASU), they promote excellence in local government and build a community of practice in local government innovation. http://transformgov.org/en/home 

The City of Williamsburg, Virginia (www.williamsburgva.gov), established in 1699, is home to two internationally renowned institutions: the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (www.history.org), that operates the world’s largest outdoor living museum; and the College of William and Mary (www.wm.edu), the second oldest college in the United States.  Williamsburg, governed by an elected City Council and administered by a City Manager, functions under its vision “to become an evermore safe, beautiful, livable city of historic and academic renown, served by a city government—cohesively led, financially strong, always improving—in full partnership with the people who live, work and visit here.” 

Follow Williamsburg, VA on Facebook, and twitter @WilliamsburgGov.   

Contact Kate Hoving, Communications Specialist, 757.220.6197 or khoving@williamsburgva.gov.

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