FixMyStadt: Direct, fast and easy contact to governmental administrators in smart cities

Pot holes, graffiti, damaged park benches and the like are problems all cities and towns are faced with. The time that passes before the appropriate authorities become aware of the damage and fix them can often seem endless to many citizens. FixMyCity can help.

The application FixMyCity, a government mash-up, combines internal and external resources like data, functionalities or services. It allows citizens to quickly contact the appropriate person in local administration. Damage reports can be tagged with GPS coordinates and entered via mobile phone or tablet. This way, any citizen can inform the appropriate agency of damage in public spaces, such as potholes and cracks in the street. In addition, the citizen can find out whether anyone else has already filed a complaint. The program brings the information of the citizens and the data of administration and economy closer together, which results in added value for everybody involved. The citizens thus support their governments and have a direct influence. The authorities make their decisions on a broader basis and repair damage quickly and economically.

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Mash-ups like FixMyCity offer a visual illustration of publicly available data and make interactions based on standard web technologies possible. They are based on modern, lightweight web architectures and offer access through any modern browser, which increases the availability of mash-ups, reduces the development times and costs a lot less. Freely available data (open data) allow any user to create mash-ups like FixMyCity. Therefore, mash-up technologies become more and more popular in the private sector as well as in companies. For example, companies provide suppliers with access to their data and services along their value chain. This allows them to refine their business models and to develop new sources of income. Mash-ups offer a great potential to public administrators as they link internal and external data quickly and cost-effectively.

There is a variety of possible applications for mash-ups like FixMyCity:

They would certainly be useful in applications such as complaint management systems, whereby data could be processed in machine-readable format using an interface. The availability of official data through an appropriate portal has already been realized in line with an EU-Project in a prototype. On the other hand, organizational approaches for the provision of data and services have to be assessed based on the demands of the public sector. The project has the long-term goal of providing a mash-up platform in collaboration with partners from business and government that is adapted to the public sector, to design a mash-up architecture that complies with data protection requirements and to implement it as a pilot.