December 12, 2023
Smart City

How does a smart city app help the city's communication?

Author photo
Zoltán Szaniszló

The quality of communication between city authorities and residents contributes significantly to the public's perception of the effectiveness of local government. That is why an important element of smart city development is to improve and make the communication between residents and the city administration more effective.

The greatest advantage of smart city apps lies in their speed. A single push message can notify thousands of people about an upcoming power outage or a local event. Municipalities can complement their existing traditional media platforms (radio, TV, newspaper) with a modern tool that young people prefer, and thus reach a wider audience with their messages.

It is rather hard to reach young audiences through other media channels these days, which

is why it is essential to provide them with opportunities to participate in their preferred decision-making processes in the app, so that they feel it is worth downloading and staying active on. Indeed, for the long-term viability of a municipality, the involvement of young people is inevitable. It should be underlined, therefore, that the app is not only a useful instrument for conveying messages to the masses.

The questionnaires function also gives residents the chance to give their feedback and opinions directly to the city's leaders, so that they feel more included in the decision-making process. From this feedback, city leaders can then draw important conclusions, and the opinions shared here can form the basis for future messages.

Smart city applications can also be an important part of the communication of municipal events, especially if the event concerns only a small area within the municipality, who should be informed in a tailored way, for example by address. This includes immediate information on emergencies and utility problems, but the various features of the app (News, Events, push messages) can also be used to promote the city's upcoming Christmas event.

For local businesses, the increased visibility offered by the city card acts as a kind of free advertising in the app. By granting this visibility, city officials can more authentically act as a partner to local businesses in their communications.

For tourists, the smart city app can also be used by the municipality as a dedicated communication channel, with an information menu specifically designed for them, gamified presentations of tourist attractions and the use of SmartPads utilising augmented reality - features that can be integrated into the city app as required.

In a campaign, such as a local government campaign, a smart city app can be a useful addition to the PR activities of the municipality, as it can help to quickly reach the local electorate with the help of the app, by rapidly addressing problems that may arise or refuting almost instantly untrue allegations about the municipality.

All of the above is of course subject to residents actually downloading and actively using the app. This is why we offer an introductory campaign as an add-on service to the app for municipalities that choose to use our smart city app. By boosting the number of active citizens using the app, municipalities will have an additional communication outlet to specifically target local residents on issues that concern and interest them.