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Where can I party tonight? How long is the bar around the corner open until? How high is the dog tax? City apps can help citizens and visitors stay in the know ’round the clock.
Pretty soon you won’t need to go to city hall to find out what’s going on in the city or attend public demos to be part of the action. A city app is on its way that will make interaction between citizens and their city that much easier. The idea is a joint innovation project by SAP and the German city of Sindelfingen.
“A modern city has to come away from the old-fashioned way of doing things and open up to the modern world,” says Rainer Bildmayer, senior process architect at SAP Research. This app will be the platform for doing just that. It could be used in e-government, for example, so that citizens can pay their dog tax online or register their new address when they move house. Plus, the app offers new possibilities for civic involvement. “Looking at it on a grand scale, having these options might have even helped prevent fiascos like Stuttgart 21 [train station]or the Berlin Tempelhof airport,” notes Bildmayer.
The city of Sindelfingen submits ideas for the app, which SAP Research then turns into reality. The app is expected to be launched in Sindelfingen at the end this year. “We want to use this app to make the issue of climate change more appealing to our yourth, and encourage them to get involved in environmental projects,” says Bernd Vöhringer, Sindelfingen’s mayor.
The best part of the app is that users can tailor it to their own needs quite easily, by displaying or hiding functions as needed. Car drivers, for example, could use the app to find public parking lots, while those taking public transportation could use it display all route schedules and stops.
And the app is gaining in popularity: Cities like Amsterdam, Zurich, Tokyo, and Berlin have already expressed interest in using it as well.