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Use Cases

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  • Proactive Governance

ZenCity’s up-to-the-minute insights allow you to easily recognize trends as they happen in real-time so you can stay proactive. We enable you to know what’s happening in your city now and our notification system will keep you updated on trending topics and conversations. Being on notice in the present allows you to proactively respond to evolving citizen discourse and to specific incidents as they arise.

Crisis-Management Use Case

One of the cities we work with (Pop. 160,000) was faced with a major crisis when a construction crane collapsed in the heart of the city. The situation demanded an immediate shut down of the surrounding streets in order to properly address safety concerns, resulting in challenges such as traffic congestion, confusion, and significant speculation. The city was faced with the dilemma of whether to keep the streets closed or risk re-opening the quarantined area in order to minimize citizen complaints regarding a “shut down.”

Using the ZenCity platform in real-time, the city was able to understand that, contrary to their assumption, citizens actually wanted the streets to stay closed. They were willing to endure heavy traffic in return for the feeling of safety the shut-down provided. City decision-makers were able to watch discussions on the subject unfolding in real-time in growing numbers. In this case, social media provided a unique platform where citizens communicated through multiple channels, but barely utilized the official 311 service. Following the event, the city tracked positive feedback from the citizens regarding how the city handled this vulnerable situation, reinforcing that the city had chosen the right action in handling what could have otherwise turned into an even bigger crisis and safety threat.

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  • Long-term Decision Making

ZenCity’s technology enables you to aggregate and analyze information over time, giving you both topic-centric and general “big picture” views of your city for data-driven planning and long-term decision making. Data-smart governance can help you allocate limited resources more effectively and more intelligently, increasing public trust as a by-product.

Development Project Use-Case

Several cities that work with us have major, multi-phase development projects underway. Using ZenCity’s project view feature, these cities are organizing and following citizen discourse and sentiment on the projects, which in turn is helping the cities prioritize between different project elements and limited city resources. In one of our cities, city management learned that citizens were most concerned about the impact of the project on four main topics, and they also learned how concerned they were using our scoring technology. In descending order, citizens were concerned with the impact on schools, pollution, housing, and private transportation. This information has helped the city shape planning decisions and has helped the city relate to what citizens truly want to see in the future project. Using ZenCity’s data and analysis has brought a much higher volume of input from a larger group of citizens than the town hall meetings initiated before the project, and has also provided feedback in real-time as the project unfolds.

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  • Performance Management

ZenCity transforms highly qualitative data into quantitative metrics. Enhance performance management by accessing citizen feedback on a wide-scale and by tracking specific city actions, policy initiatives, events, and more. ZenCity’s analysis acts as a metrics platform, providing a means by which you can measure the effectiveness and progress of different city projects.

Car-Sharing Initiative Use Case

One of our bigger cities implemented an extensive, city-wide car sharing program with little work done to gauge citizen feedback or input before launching. The program was received by intensely negative response and criticism. Using ZenCity, the city is now measuring satisfaction with the program over time, mostly focusing on whether or not negativity decreases. Additionally, the city easily sees what is issues with the car-sharing program are causing so much division and negative public perception (in this case, the strain on public parking caused by the initiative), and addressing this specific challenge. The city is measuring is if its response is helping change the reception of the car-sharing program overall.

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  • Civic Engagement

ZenCity lets you have your finger on the pulse of the city and enables you to continuously monitor and respond to citizen feedback and concerns addressing the issues in the language voiced by citizens. Through the ZenCity dashboard, you can reach data directly at its source, and if it’s your style, spark and contribute to conversation on relevant platforms, extending your reach to your citizens and meeting them where they are at the touch of a button.

Citizen Engagement Use Case

One of our mayors regularly visits the ZenCity platform before neighborhood meetups. He uses the platform to filter ZenCity’s insights by neighborhood, as ZenCity’s data is geolocated and is synced with the city’s GIS layer. Then, when meeting residents face to face, the Mayor and his team are prepared to address citizens based on what the citizens want to discuss. As a result, town halls are much more productive, and the city can genuinely respond to citizen needs, and engage in meaningful discourse.