The California Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program recognizes outstanding achievements by California's 482 cities. Redlands, CA was selected for the Award for Public Works, Infrastructure and Transportation for its Redlands 311 smartphone application. The City also received the Ruth Vreeland Award for engaging youth in city Government for the Redlands Emergency Services Academy. Redlands 311, developed by Rock Solid, was among several initiatives the City of Redlands undertook as City leaders worked to overcome deep budget cuts and personnel reductions in the wake of the national economic downturn. Redlands 311 allowed city staff to engage the community in addressing residents concerns while directing limited public resources in a highly targeted fashion.
The app is free for resident to download and install and is available on various platforms including the iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone. Users are able to record images, video and audio of issues such as potholes or graffiti, add a message and send it directly to City personnel. The application uses geo-tagging technology to automatically provide the problems location, simplifying the reporting process for users.
Using Redlands 311, smartphone users can report problems including:
- Abandoned bikes, vehicles and shopping carts
- Loose, dead or biting animals
- Homeless encampments or nuisances
- Illegal dumping
- Illegal fires
- Illegal signs
- Parking violations
- Overgrown or problem trees and plants
- Roadway or sidewalk dangers
- Non- working streetlights
- Polluting vehicles
This is the second award for the Redlands 311 app. In May the Center for Digital Government selected Redlands for its 2012 Best of California award for Best Application Serving the Public. Award winners are recognized at the League of California Cities Annual Conference, in Western City magazine, and on the Leagues website at http://www.cacities.org/Top/Partners/Helen-Putnam-Awards.aspx.
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