Clicks & Bricks
Street Bump (Boston)
Street Bump is a mobile app that helps residents improve their neighborhood streets. As they drive, the mobile app collects data about the smoothness of the ride; that data can provide the City with real-time information it uses to fix problems and plan long term investments. In partnership with New Urban Mechanics, Connected Bits is helping to design and develop the app, collaborating with IDEO and building from research done with Professor Fabio Carrera and through InnoCentive. The City of Boston has launched Street Bump and 2012 and expects to make the code freely available so others can use and build on the project’s initial efforts.
City Worker (Boston)
To help City staff better manage its infrastructure and respond to constituent requests, the City has developed a smart phone application to be used by City workers. This application allows workers to easily manage their daily work list and access and record information about the condition of City infrastructure such as street lights, trees and roads. Pilot project launched with the Parks Department’s arborists in March 2011 and expanded to the Public Works Department in October of 2011. Version 2.0 was released in February 2012, and version 3.0 was deployed in 2013.
Built in collaboration with Code for America, Adopt-A-Hydrant is a pilot project that encourages Boston residents to shovel out snowed-in hydrants during the winter. Through the app, residents can claim hydrants they intend to shovel out after storms. Residents have the option to name their hydrant and are provided updates throughout the year. The app was launched in the winter of 2011/2012. Despite limited snow through most of the winter, over 100 residents adopted hydrants. Both Chicago & Honolulu are building similar efforts off of this platform.
Redesigning the Residential Trash System (Boston)
The City spends over $40 million each year on hauling residential trash and recyclables. No issue generates more requests or issues from citizens, who log around 20,000 annual requests for special pick-ups or reports of missed trash or dirty streets. The City is partnering with IDEO to look at this challenge through the lens of human centered design. Project launched in the spring of 2011; pilot prototype likely to be installed in Boston’s South End in 2013.
Complete Streets (Boston)
A project led by the Boston Transportation Department, Complete Streets is an effort to improve the flow of people and goods through Boston by making the City’s transportation infrastructure greener, smarter and even more multi-modal. This project is on-going.
My Dot Tour (Boston)
A project of Dorchester’s Fields Corner Collaborative supported by MIT’s Center for Future Civic Media, My Dot Tour offers a new way for residents to learn about and share opinions on the past, present and future of a neighborhood. In addition to walking tours researched and conducted by local youth, My Dot Tours included the installation of signs throughout the neighborhood that invite residents to call a number of scan a QR code to learn more about a particular place and share their recollections, opinions and hopes for the area. The project launched in the summer of 2011.