Following last week’s New Cities Summit, I have renewed interest in some of the technologies being implemented to improve citizen services. For example, as a citizen of the Dallas metroplex, I was intrigued by many of the solutions and applications the City of Dallas has put into place on its quest to become a smart and connected city.
With so many cities being pressured with the need to spend less yet meet growing citizen needs, we are seeing a growing interest in solutions such as the Remote Expert Smart Solution for Government Services (REGS). Many of us don’t have frequent need to engage with a city expert or professional, but when I have, the experience has been less than stellar. Too often, citizens end up in lines, waiting, having to take off work and in the worst case scenario – leaving without the information we needed.
Let’s say my grandfather needed to renew his driver’s license. With the REGS solution, the city could place a REGS units (or POD) inside a local commercial complex, within the public library or even the local bank. My grandfather wouldn’t have to go all the way to the Department of Motor Vehicles. He could simply go to the local POD location, enter the POD, be greeted and start a virtual face-to-face consultation immediately with an expert who would walk him through the process. The expert and my grandfather could see one another and the expert could share a browser or document and even print off any forms my grandfather needs before he leaves.
As Cecile Willems wrote yesterday, citizen engagement is critical to making our cities better. With solutions that make services easier to access, easier to use, and more effective for both the citizen and the city, we may just see that an engaged citizen is a happy citizen.
Is your city taking steps to improve citizen services? (check out what they are doing with REGS in Brisbane, Australia, by the way)
Interested in learning more about Smart+Connected Solutions such as REGS?
To learn more about what cities are doing to create new possibilities for improved citizen engagement and a better citizen experience, register for the entire #SmartConnectedCity blog series, or visit Cisco’s Smart+Connected Communities page and Government page on Cisco.com.