A private initiative, launched by a charity in the UK, aims to help residents and local governments pinpoint problems and track results.
New initiatives are using the web to allow residents to report issues that local councils or city governments need to take care of. Things like graffiti, fly tipping, broken paving slabs, or street lighting. Both London's Love Lewisham and Amsterdam's Google Maps hack were created by local government. Now, a new venture is moving the concept forward by offering a nation-wide solution in the United Kingdom.
Launched recently, Neighbourhood Fix-It lets residents all over the UK pinpoint problems, which are then sent to their local council to deal with. After entering a postcode or location, users are presented with a map of the area. They can view issues that have already been reported, or add something they've just spotted, simply by clicking on the map. The site is free to use and run by mySociety, a charity that also created civic-action websites like TheyWorkForYou.com and PledgeBank.com. In a quiet beta test prior to Neighbourhood Fix-It's launch, several hundred problems were reported. Local councils fixed paving slabs, got rid of redundant estate agent signs, filled pot holes and removed graffiti.
As mySociety's Tom Steinberg explains: "Neighbourhood Fix-It aims to change the act of reporting faults - turning it from a private one-to-one process into a public experience where residents can see if anyone else in the neighbourhood has already spotted and reported a problem, and to see how their council is acting on it. We hope the website will make the process of reporting faults more efficient, possibly reducing the number of individual reports that councils receive because people will be able to see that their neighbours have already made the call."
Definitely the most efficient way for residents to request repairs, and it makes sense for local governments to encourage citizens to be their eyes on the street. If you’d like to influence how your own local government works, this is one to copy to your country, state or province! Making it easy to get started, Neighbourhood Fix-It gives free access to the website's source code.
Reprint of original article with permission from Springwise.