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5 Fix

5 Fix

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Published by Sumona Chakravarty

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Published by: Sumona Chakravarty on Sep 29, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/29/2011

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Web interface for posting locationspecific civic problems and trackingresolutions
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Presence:Fix my Street
Project Credits: UK Council‘Fix My Street’ is an initiative by local councils inthe UK to involve residents in their locality in the processof improving their community. Residents can report aproblem they have observed by tagging the locationon a map, and submitting a picture of the problem.These are routed to the council through the website
xmystreet.com, and, once the problem is xed, the
council posts it on the website and the participant is
notied by email about the resolution. Fix My Street now
also has mobile applications so participants can post
problems from specic locations, submitting images
that are automatically geo-tagged.Fix My Street takes a participatory, locativemedia art/science practice like crowd-sourcing and usesit to create a technology for grassroots governance.Locative media is used effectively to involve citizensin locating and reporting municipal problems in their neighborhoods and localities, by creating a platformthat allows them to directly address the problem, at
its specic location. The project creates a simple and
instantaneous mode of civic journalism - motivatingpeople to do a lot of good with the least amount of effort.The project also creates an incentive for participation by making the link between the problemand the resolution visible. The website reports that1,890 problems have been resolved in the previousmonth and regularly updates the status of a reported
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Phone AppPresence:Fix my street
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problem. The entire process is transparent and, for citizens, this openness reinforces their faith and trust inlocal governance. This inspires more and more peopleto participate and become a part of a collaborative effortto improve civic life. The residents are empowered by asense of having affected real tangible change.Although the reports are restricted to physicalspaces or objects that need to be repaired, it needslittle effort to use this tool for monitoring and reportingagainst people. This tool can easily be misused bypeople during periods of aggression and tensionwithin the city - the August, 2011 riots in London mayhave created such a malicious situation. This raisesquestions about the need for censorship even withinthis democratic, open platform. In the cybernetic city,how do we regulate the information being generatedand broadcasted? Alternatively, can we create self-regulating mechanisms that ensure the information isnot abused?Fix My Street may have internal monitoringsystems in place that control the information, however,at the basic level of the interaction, it tries to incorporatean element of self-regulation. The mobile applicationprompts the user to select from a limited range of categories in order to classify the complaints beforeposting them. Moreover, the website focuses on theresolutions achieved and, in the process, sets the toneof the project as a positive, collaborative effort, andfosters a sense of community.

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