With a new smartphone app, the City of Detroit is asking residents an unusual question: How can I help you? Known as Improve Detroit, the app is a Detroit-specific version of SeeClickFix, a service used in thousands of cities to report and track everyday problems like graffiti or potholes. But for the neglected neighborhoods of Detroit, routine problems often go far beyond minor inconveniences. Mountains of illegally dumped trash, gushing water mains, and uncovered manholes are all regularly reported.
For the most part, the city's response has been surprisingly swift. Most issues are resolved within a few days, some within 24 hours. If the city manages to keep pace with an increasing number of reports, Improve Detroit has the potential to empower entire neighborhoods. Should enthusiasm (or funding) wane, however, the app runs the risk of becoming a public, ironically-named gallery of Detroit lowlights.
· Mayor Duggan launches Improve Detroit app [City of Detroit]