CRM & Data

CITIES ARE EMBRACING SERVICE APPS

26.04.2017 10:42

Cities have recognised the potential of smart technologies: More and more municipalities are launching apps, chatbots, and virtual reality solutions to simplify communications with the public and extend their service offering to smartphones. The possibilities are diverse – and the added value for users is significant. Many municipalities already provide information about public authorities, tips regarding free parking, useful details about the city, and tourist information. Such information is not only handy for residents and visitors; it also helps to reduce administrative burden and bureaucracy for the city itself. Here, we examine some current working concepts more closely.

If you’re in the city of Vienna and you notice a pothole, a broken traffic light, or damage to a playground, you can report such grievances directly to the city administration via the app sag’s Wien (Tell Vienna). The app has been in place since mid-February 2017. Meanwhile, the Wien Bot (Vienna Bot) provides residents and tourists alike with answers to questions about topics like free parking, government offices, or local doctors, as well as general information about the city. South of Vienna, the city of Perchtoldsdorf has, with the help of IQ mobile, packaged useful information into an app. Instituted several years ago, this tool has proven to be an ideal means of communication between citizens and the city. Elsewhere in Austria, Salzburg also uses an app to highlight events and encourage dialogue without bureaucratic hurdles. And in Styria, the app daheim provides information from a total of ten municipalities.

Helpful information in real time

Exciting smart-city solutions can also be found in parts of Europe beyond Austrian borders. Hamburg recently launched an app that indicates the closest free parking space in real time. The system relies on sensors and other data sources, like information from parking ticket machines or parking space operators. In the next three years, up to 11,000 parking spaces in the city will be networked. The city of Moers in North Rhine-Westphalia is embracing a similar concept and has announced that it will digitise a large number of parking spaces, while also facilitating parking payment via smartphone.

Munich is particularly innovative when it comes to making the most of modern technologies. With its 360 Degree Virtual Reality App, the city shows off its most beautiful corners including hotspots like the old town, Frauenkirche Church, Viktualienmarkt Market, and beloved beer gardens. Munich offers a successful example of how municipal apps can be used as a strategic marketing tool. However, apps are also an effective tool for quickly informing residents of a region about emergencies such as fires, accidents, or evacuations. In Germany, for example, the NINA app provides users with warning alerts, including details about the type of danger; these are displayed as a push notification on the user’s smartphone.

Are you interested in an app? Don’t hesitate to contact us for further information. We will be happy to help you transform your app into a useful tool with added value.

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