As digital cities become more common and cities push the boundaries of their digital strategy, a simple service request app will not resolve the hurdles to become a smart city. While it is a great starting point, municipalities need to push their mobile and digital capabilities further than ever before.
Skokie, IL is pushing boundaries by partnering with Rock Solid (previously CitySourced) to combine functions of multiple apps into one central platform where residents can easily and quickly interact with their community departments.
Launching Access Skokie—a custom mobile application for residents to report non-emergency issues, pay utilities and citation, and order vehicle stickers—will improve civic engagement by providing a tool for residents that empowers them to easily report issues in their communities and allowing Skokie to quickly attend to those service requests.
“Pay Utility and village bills. And other Skokie related inquiries. While I have managed to find what I need through website, I really appreciate that I can go to this app, place a request for an issue and my favorite part is that I can pay my water bill here.” - iTunes app review
Skokie partnered with Rock Solid to develop an app for their residents that would build better communication and engagement. Through this free app, residents can quickly photograph or record issues in their community with their smartphones in real-time and receive feedback as their issues get resolved. In addition to the photo or video, Access Skokie delivers the physical address of the issue via GPS coordinates, date/time stamp, and the report type (graffiti, trash, pothole, etc.) to a back-end system that will utilize custom workflows to assign, manage, and resolve all submitted issues. This console will allow Skokie department staff to be notified of issues that are reported, and comment back to residents—who will get push notifications or email alerts on the status of their submitted issues.
Access Skokie is not only a service request app but a central location for residents to find more village resources, make payments on utilities and citation, and order an updated vehicle sticker. The improved engagement doesn’t stop with mobile. Skokie has also created a web portal that allows for report submission, shows residents nearby reports, and creates back-end workflow processes for the staff of Skokie.