Palo Alto has launched a new mobile app – PaloAlto311 – that allows residents to directly report issues such as a pothole or graffiti and track the resolution of their request via mobile phone or online. The application is part of a comprehensive technology strategy Palo Alto has adopted to become a leading digital city and an additional tool to enhance civic engagement.
Using PaloAlto311, residents can submit a service request simply by downloading the app, selecting from a menu of service requests, and sending it directly to the City. The app also allows residents to take a picture of the problem and send it in, and the app automatically knows the location of the problem (GPS and location services must be enabled on mobile device and may vary). Submitters can follow their request from the initial report to resolution right from their phones. Issues can also be reported via the web.
During the beta release, residents will be able to report a limited number of issues such as maintenance of city buildings, graffiti, missed street sweeping, sidewalks, storm drains, as well as streets and roadways including potholes and street and traffic light problems. In addition to reporting problems, residents can check out an e-book from the library and receive emergency notifications from the City on PaloAlto311.
The City of Palo Alto partnered with PublicStuff, an innovative customer relationship management software company, to launch the app and digital communication solution. Since PaloAlto311 was launched in conjunction with the recently CityCamp hackathon on June 1, more than 250 residents have downloaded the app to report issues ranging from graffiti to a broken curb.
"PaloAlto311 is a way to literally put in the hands of our citizens their ability to help solve problems, identify issues in our community and share in the leadership of the city itself," said City Manager James Keene.
The app also supports multiple languages through One Voice – Instant Translation feature, allowing all Palo Alto residents who don't speak English the ability to access city services and submit requests in their native language automatically from their smartphones.
“Releasing PaloAlto311 is a major milestone in our strategy to deliver smarter, digital city capabilities to our community,” said Chief Information Officer Jonathan Reichental. “This app begins the process to make more City services available to our residents wherever they are, whatever time they want, and from a multitude of devices. This solution provides improved reporting and process management, so we expect the quality and performance of our local government will continue to rise.”
“PublicStuff is very excited to have the illustrious City of Palo Alto on board and help provide their residents with more access to city services,” founder and CEO of PublicStuff Lily Liu said. “As the technology capital of the world, we are happy to give residents the ability to make community improvements right from their mobile devices and talk to their local government officials with this easy-to-use and efficient service.”
PaloAlto311 is a free app and is available in the Apple and Google app stores for immediate use. To access any of PaloAlto311 services, go to www.cityofpaloalto.org/services/paloalto311.