Collaboration in Civic Spheres

Archive for the ‘Public Safety’ Category

“Can City Apps Bring Transparent Data To Jersey City’s Citizens?”

by February 26th, 2010

By Ron Callari

Technological advances are affecting how citizens are interacting with their city governments, as transparency, efficiency and cost-savings become the guiding principles in municipalities today. As more and more cities open their data to the public, tech-savvy individuals and companies are creating APIs (application programming interfaces) to provide Web 2.0 solutions for a variety of city issues. How might this technological development help Jersey City’s citizens better access and understand their government, all while saving the city money?

In its simplest form, a City API or app can be a descriptive list of a set of functions that are included in a government database and address a specific problem. For example, in a city with a traffic-light problem, a resident might typically call the public works or transportation department. Those calls take time and cost money when addressed by staff members you reach by phone. But with an API, a city could permit its residents to upload photos or videos of specific traffic light issues, vote on which ones should be addressed with urgency and view progress updates over time, for free. This could be done from smartphones with stand-alone apps or directed to a specific website for public perusal.

Read full article <a href=””>here</a>.