Smart city initiatives increasingly focus on the human element of change that enables communities to connect with their governments and public sector service providers.

I touched on this concept in a previous blog, highlighting the significance of leveraging community engagement to deliver better services.

Connectivity is key — and it’s not exclusive to governments or solving city problems.

Two-way communication channels work for any initiative that can benefit from collaborative efforts.

The platforms through which organisations connect with communities must facilitate access to information as well as allow data contributions.

The ArcGIS Hub is an example of this kind of platform.

Organisations identify and prioritise their initiatives — policy-driven goals that aim to improve outcomes for their communities — using ready-to-use templates and monitor the success of their initiatives with dashboards.

Community stakeholders access the initiatives and connect to share information using the available engagement tools and apps.

The City of Los Angeles’ GeoHub is a great example of community engagement working to deliver cleaner streets for residents through projects like the Clean Streets LA Story Map.

Built on ArcGIS Hub, the GeoHub provides real-time access to more than 500 datasets across 20 of the city’s departments and with data contributions from the county, state and federal government. It points to the latest data wherever it’s stored, giving the public access to the most current, authoritative information.

Citizens can access the Clean Streets map to report real-time updates on garbage collection on their street, helping drive a more efficient bin collection operation and ensuring neighbourhoods across LA are clean and garbage-free.

An example closer to home is in Western Australia, where the Road Safety Commission connects with the community via real-time updates and photographs, to help influence outcomes and drive relevant decision-making.

This is part of their Towards Zero strategy which aims to improve road safety and reduce traffic fatalities and injuries by 11,000 people by 2020 – a reduction of approximately 40% on 2005-2007 figures.

To gather information about road conditions, the community can connect to a mobile-friendly app and interactive map to upload data about road conditions along Indian Ocean Drive.

Whether for government agencies, utilities, public or private entities, ArcGIS Hub opens up new possibilities for creating connected communities.

In fact, the transformation process itself can become a community project using the ArcGIS Hub to drive positive change.

To find out more about ArcGIS Hub, send us an email or call us on 1800 870 750.

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