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Keeping the City clean with a smartphone app

I often find that conversation about how citizens might use tech to help improve their neighbourhoods throws up the idea of reporting rubbish, graffiti and potholes online … and that may then lead to “do you know about FixMyStreet” and other good things from MySociety.

FixMyStreet is a really simple and effective text-based solution on the web, launched in 2007: enter the postcode, type in the problem, and FixMyStreet sends it to the appropriate place. FAQ here, with mention of a Nokia app.

Even better, however, if we could now have something able to use the full capability of mobile phones … so I was interested to see a tweet from my local council “Smartphone app keeps the City clean –  a new Youtube video: http://ow.ly/mprvN ” As you’ll see, the video provides an excellent walk-through of the app, and demonstration walk-around the City, by Adam Collins from the City of London Corporation Cleansing Services.

As LovetheSquareMile explains, you can use iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows apps, send photos of problems with added details, and get notification when they are fixed if you have registered with the site.

As the video mentions, you can use the app elsewhere, because it is a customised version of lovecleanstreets. There’s a Love Clean Streets Network, and they say you can use the app anywhere in the world, and they’ll make sure the report gets through. Impressive.

The City of London streets are generally exceptionally well tended, as are our many pocket-sized parks. The 11,000 residents benefit in part from investment to serve business and 330,000 workers. Most of those travel and live elsewhere, and having downloaded the City app will be able to report issues back home or in other world cities. Clever.

I’ll be looking out for more about the City, not just as an interested resident, but because my wife Ann Holmes was recently elected to the Court of Common Council. Here’s the official site, the Wikipedia entry, and the current excellent City of London Festival.

Update: Nigel Tyrell tweets from the City to say that LoveSquareMile and LoveCleanStreets were developed from LoveLewisham, launched in 2005.  More on report it in Lewisham here.