By Sylvie Spalmacin-Roma
If you run over a pothole or perhaps a train is delayed on your morning commute, what do you do? It’s unlikely that you would pick up the phone to call the city to report it or attend a meeting on the topic being held by your local government. The more likely scenario is that you would take to social media to mention the location of the pothole or express your frustration with the delay.
Today’s citizens can be seen as engaged but in a very different manner. Twitter, Facebook and other social channels serve as a 24/7 town hall meeting for an increasing number of us digitally connected citizens. Social listening and analysis can be a valuable tool for cities.
People are passionate about their commute. Love it or hate it, we have much to say about it. The most recent IBM Social Sentiment Index looks at sentiment in traffic around several European cities in France, Netherlands, Spain and Germany.
For example, in the city of Lyon, France, sentiment around rush hour is positive (40%) with essentially no negative sentiment on the same topic. The city has begun an ambitious project to improve mobility in the region and build a more sustainable transportation network, which I have written about in the past. This suggests that citizens are recognizing the efforts of the city of Lyon L’Optimod project to improve mobility.
Montpellier county, France, has recently announced an investment revisiting urban management to better serve their citizen in an open innovative way. Taking into account high negative sentiment around rush hour, accidents and weather could help the city better deploy resources and funding towards areas that are important to its citizens.
Each citizen has a unique voice and opinion about a critical issue or how to improve city services.
You can imagine how a city could use this data to make cities more attractive and livable.