Civic apps could redefine the way citizens interact with cities

Will smartphone connectivity become the new measure of civic engagement? Can the app replace the neighborhood association?

“While some might feel that engaging communities through handheld devices may erode civic bonds, apps that connect citizens to civil servants and elected officials could play an important role going forward. […]”

“Though not necessarily heralded as a hotbed of technological innovation, the City of Boston is plunging headlong into what may be the future of civic engagement by debuting an iPhone app connecting residents to city hall. The app, known as Citizen Connect, is the brainchild of a handful of mayoral aides and will allow residents to file complaints with the city by snapping a photo of a problem–a pothole, a fallen tree limb, a neighbor’s overgrown lawn–and sending it to city hall, complete with a geo-tag so city officials can find and fix the problem.”

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