Wednesday, October 14, 2009 - By Ben Berkowitz - No comments

Philly 311 and IdleFreePhilly both responding to Citizens on Same Platform

On the same day that floods of Vehicle Idling Complaints started coming into SeeClickFix Philly 311 started acknowledging issues using SeeClickFix Pro.
A non-profit, Clean Air Council and a City Government acting on the same platform to help fix up the public space.



Tim O'Reilly has been talking a lot about Government acting more like a platform than an institution. This is a great example:
- Philly 311 was one of the first Governments to respond quickly to SeeClickFix issues and as a result lent credibility to the tool in Philly.
- That credibility helps to encourage organizations like the Clean Air Council to get its base to get involved in reporting and speaking up for Clean Air in Philadelphia.
- As a result Philly 311 does not need to receive the alerts on idling (their watch area filter has -idling which excludes alerts on idling) because the Clean Air Council is collecting and Quantifying that data instead. Aside from the Clean Air council sending notices of the public documentations to private companies who's drivers are at fault they will be preparing a report of "hot spots" to be addressed by inspectors.
-The media has not fallen short in their responsibility either and Philly.Com displays a map of these issues helping to expose not only the potholes they originally asked readers to post but also the idling vehicle complaints and other community concerns helping to expose them to the a greater whole.

-There are also neighborhood groups that are starting to form watch areas on SeeClickFix such as Logan Square, Society Hill and Washington Square as well as the Philadelphia Bicycle Coalition and Various City Council



While there are many SeeClickFix communities that are thriving with much less government involvement, Philadelphia 311 proves that engaging citizens in Governance can lead to a better community. I should also mention that it takes much more than a website to connect communities in the real world and a lot of the good things that are happening in Philly are do in part to people like Rob Stuart (SeeClickFix Sideclick extordinaire) who has been connecting people and letting them know about the new tool.

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