Your Say Yarra app

The City of Yarra has a draft Community Engagement Policy which commits to community engagement that is:

  • Representative
  • Accessible
  • Meaningful
  • Transparent
  • Accountable
  • Respectful
  • Flexible
  • Supportive
  • Prepared

Your Say Yarra app

We suggest that these principles can be supported by developing a Your Say Yarra application for smartphones.

Image credit: Streets Alive Yarra, logo from City of Yarra

Features

Consider an app with the following features:

  • Verified accounts for everyone on the City of Yarra electoral roll
  • Verified subsidiary accounts for dependents
  • Account profiles include age, location, gender, and preferred language
  • Account profiles optionally include banking details
  • Customisable notifications such as “all planning applications in Yarra” or “any works within 1 km of my home”
  • Multi-lingual interface

Benefits to residents

The app could offer the following benefits to residents and ratepayers:

  • Notifications for any issue that matches your personal settings
  • Convenience to tap and complete surveys
  • Transparency to view the results of the survey (don’t need an Officer to prepare charts or tables)
  • Ability to pay rates, fees or fines
  • Book Council services, e.g. green waste collection
  • Read Council newsletters or public service alerts

Benefits to Council

The app could offer the following benefits to Council:

  • Automated, rapid and low cost analytics, such as displaying responses by age, location, gender or spoken language
  • Automatically display results on a map of Yarra
  • Enable low-cost high-speed surveys, e.g. answers within 1 week
  • Enable contentious issues to be rapidly identified and then escalated to a higher-cost form of community engagement, such as a citizens’ jury

Example output

The app could automatically generate output, such as the results of a survey, available to residents and Council alike, such as for/against responses displayed over a map of Yarra. To de-identify responses, the app could automatically include a random location displacement for each response, of up to 200 metres in any direction.

Example of a possible automatically generated chart, showing location of respondents who are for or against a proposal. Image credit: Streets Alive Yarra, Apple Maps.

Feedback welcome

What do you think? Would the value of such an app be worth the cost required to develop and support it? Let us know in an email to info@streets-alive-yarra.org.

Published on 10th August 2020