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Austrian province crowdsources problem identification

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Austrian province crowdsources problem identification

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Earlier this year the Austrian city of Vienna launched an open innovation project to try and improve their tourism offering.  Civic leaders want Vienna to remain an attractive destination, both for tourists and inhabitants, so the crowd were invited to submit their ideas as part of the 2020 project.  The project managers are hoping for a wide range of opinions, from both ‘experts’ and regular people on their personal expectations of the city.

“This opens up a big range of topics and questions – such as: “How would I like to get there?”, “Which means of transport would I like to use and where would I like to stay?”, “What would I like to experience?”, “What is missing in this city?”, “What could enrich my travel experience even more?”, “How can this city cover my wide range of needs best – from food to information?” etc.” the managers say.

Buoyed by this innovative project, a similar effort has emerged elsewhere in Austria.  The Bürgerforum Vorarlberg mobile phone app allows citizens to flat issues they believe need addressing in the community and send photos or text messages directly to council officials.

The app, which is available on both App Store and Google Play, was developed by news agencies in the Vorarlberg region of Austria.  Users can take a photo of the problem and attach a caption to it, with the app automatically geotagging the photo to identify its location.  The issue is then added to a map of other complaints submitted by citizens, with the hope that the map will provide an easy and quick way for officials to see where trouble hotspots are.

Suffice to say, this isn’t the first app of this nature to hit the market, with regions around the world deploying mobile apps to allow citizens to report problems, be they graffiti or potholes.  It is part of a growing, and welcome, trend however of encouraging citizens to play a greater role in the wellbeing of their local communities.

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