The Urbanoe Approach
Our goal is to allow citizens and cities to communicate in the most effective manner possible about problems that affect their neighborhoods. With this in mind, we created the Urbanoe platform and its associated reporting process.
The core of the system is Urbanoe's reporting process. When an Urbanoe user notices a problem, he/she uses our mobile app to report the problem. The platform supports many report types and guides the user through the reporting process. Reporting a problem requires a few clicks and takes seconds. Different social platforms are supported and allow users to share their findings with friends, family and neighbours.
Urbanoe's rating engine ranks problems raised in the city in real time. Our rating engine is based on algorithms that classify problems according to many variables. For example, your relationship with the city (citizen, frequent visitor or passerby) and your reputation on the platform itself (quality of the reports, appreciation of fellow citizens, etc) are used. Note that you raising and rating problems affect your reputation score.
Participating cities (*) are notified of your reports, they can decide how to best deal with the problems reported. The city can discuss the problem through the issue discussion forum and a decision can be made. The discussion is public anybody can see what happens. Ultimately, the city can repair (or not) the issue.
A participating city is a city that is registered on the platform, has agreed to the process and as integrated our process in their problem resolution workflow. (If you are a city representative and want to try out the process, contact us for discussion).
After a problem has been repaired, the citizen can re-evaluate the problem and either close it, maintain its open state (if the fix is not deemed acceptable). Note that all citizens have a say on this, your relationship with the city will also have an impact on this.
Until now, communication between cities and citizens have not been from equal to equal. Dealing with cities can sometimes feel like David vs. Goliath. Your reports can be lost in large cities' bureaucratic labyrinths or simply lost due to the lack of infrastructure in smaller cities.
We believe that a third party is required in the process. You need an independent organization from both city and citizen that ensures that reports are not owned by the city or the citizen. Urbanoe is not owned by any specific city. Reports are submitted using a "Creative Commons" license. Problems can be shared, pushed in other plaftorms, discussed, etc.
The actual license used to report a problem can be set by the person who raises the problem. To sum it up, all problems are always visible, who contribute or comments will depend on what the author wants.
Urbanoe is made up of two components: a mobile application and the citizen portal.
You do not need to download a special application that is specific to your city. We have one application that can be used anywhere and by anybody. If you raise a problem for a city not in our system yet, don't worry Urbanoe will automatically resolve the details and add the city to the system.
The customer portal (this site) is accessible anywhere and offers all of the functionality allowing to browse any issue of any city. It also allows you to rate and comment on the issues of interest to you.
Any user registered on the Urbanoe platform can maintain anonymity if they so desire. Cities can access the problems through the web site or through the REST APIs but they do not ever get the user's personal information (i.e. their email address).
Though, this will be relaxed if we realize that the information posted on Urbanoe can cause harm or can be detrimental to the security of others.