Elevating Citizen Engagement with Cityworks and SeeClickFix

Cityworks believes in staying actively involved with their clients, relying on their experience and expertise to help them know how best to improve their product. Just as Cityworks relies on its clients to give useful feedback, cities rely on their citizens to report problems and submit service requests to help them keep the city in good order. To facilitate these working relationships, Cityworks has partnered with SeeClickFix as one mobile app that allows citizens and governments to report, discuss, and fix non-emergency 311 issues. Graffiti, potholes, trash, code violations, and other concerns in the city can be documented with smartphones and tablets by citizens on-the-go.

SeeClickFix gives the public the ability to record the location of an issue, take a photograph, share a comment, and submit the complaint to the city for resolution. Using the Cityworks Service Request API, municipalities have partnered with SeeClickFix to automatically push reports into their Cityworks database to create service requests. A Cityworks work order can then be generated from the service request. Integrating SeeClickFix directly into Cityworks allows cities to easily expand their ability to efficiently and transparently manage infrastructure issues. When a citizen reports an issue—such as a pothole or broken streetlight—GIS locations, real-time photos, and other detailed custom information is captured in a Cityworks service request. This seamless integration makes issue and asset management more efficient for cities, more precise for city workers, and more transparent for residents.

John McCabe, systems administrator at City of Oakland, California, says the integration with Cityworks makes SeeClickFix infinitely more valuable to Oakland: “We’re always working to answer Oakland residents as effectively as possible, and syncing these two platforms saves us time.” Incidents that are not infrastructure issues—such as crime reports, fire hydrant concerns, and questions for the public library—are forwarded directly to their respective departments for resolution utilizing Cityworks.

Incoming requests can be automatically routed to the appropriate department based not just on the type of service request being reported, but also the geographic location of the problem. This configuration allows for multiple agencies with overlapping service areas, all using Cityworks, to leverage SeeClickFix for residents. Additionally, these citizen reports provide an entire new facet of GIS data that was previously unavailable and make cities’ analytics and reports much more detailed and accurate.

When a new report is submitted from the app, a service request is created in Cityworks, and the location is geocoded so it can be viewed in Esri ArcGIS for further evaluation. Geocoding is a critical step in the process because it allows the city to maintain its asset registry, so all public works activities can be associated with a feature (or asset) in the GIS database. The asset registry also preserves the history of infrastructure repairs and allows city managers to perform a variety of GIS analyses, such as evaluating areas with unusually high maintenance requirements, to determine possible causes and take preventative measures if appropriate. This allows the city to maintain the public assets it is responsible for in a cost-effective manner.

Cityworks and SeeClickFix together create a powerful resource for communicating back to citizens as well. When a SeeClickFix-reported service request in Cityworks is closed, that status is reflected on SeeClickFix, effectively automating communication back to the citizen. With partners including Oakland, California; Richmond, Virginia; Hendersonville, North Carolina; Dunwoody, Georgia; and many more, Cityworks and SeeClickFix are helping cities across the United States make their service request systems as efficient and valuable as possible by connecting citizens, field workers, and municipal departments.

By Ben Westermann-Clark, Director of Citizen Engagement, SeeClickFix

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