The mobile city project – the blueprint of a truly mobilized city

In July 2011, the GSMA crowned Barcelona, Spain Mobile World Capital. Other than being a good place to host the annual GSMA conference, it isn’t immediately clear what makes Barcelona worthier of this title than other cities.
The belief at mobiThinking is there isn’t a truly mobilized city anywhere in the world, but many cities – e.g. Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, Seoul, Helsinki, Tallinn, Nice and London – lead the way in the different elements that put together would make up the DNA of the utopian mobile city. With the help of expert contributors, we have built the blueprint of that city, i.e. the one that all cities should be striving toward, establishing the key criteria and highlighting pioneering mobile initiatives from around the world.
The mobile city project remains live – mobiThinking welcomes additional information about any innovative mobile activities in any city: editor (at)

The criteria that make up the mobile city:
Mobile penetrationConsumer use of mobile data servicesAvailability of a reliable, affordable high-speed mobile broadbandDensity of mobile businessAccess to city services and local government via mobile (m-government)Mobile IDUse of mobile by city businessesEnabling/encouraging companies to develop mobile services for citizensMobile payments (m-payments)Mobilized transport (m-tickets)Travel and TourismMobile Health (m-health)Citizenship

Special thanks to the following contributors:
Hisham Isa (HI) BuzzCity • Jeffrey Toewe (JT) • Lars Cosh-Ishii (LCI), Mobikyo • Michael Becker (MB), MMA • Chris Brandenburg (CB), Millennial Media • Pekka Koponen (PK), Forum Virium • Ana Paola Teixeira (APT), AndinaTech • Deanna Lambert (DL) • Federico Pisani Massamormile (FPM), Hanzo • Paul Berney (PB), MMA • Tom Eslinger (TE), Saatchi & Saatchi.

Penetration of capable mobile devices
If the residents of the mobile city are to do more than just talk and send text messages on their cell phones, they need a capable multi-media mobile device. A handset that can access the Web, send and receive email and download some music, games and/or apps via a 3G (third-generation) broadband connection is a requisite – this doesn’t have to be a smartphone, necessarily.
• The best-equipped are citizens of Tokyo (Japan) where 99 percent of handsets are 3G (Japan Statistics Bureau, June 2011). The majority of these handsets enable the user to watch mobile TV (1Seg), video (Flash), mobile email and perform tap-and-go payments for transport, products, loyalty etc (via the FeliCa mobile wallet) – these features are all standard, regardless of handset brand or operator.
• The city with the most smartphones, according to Nielsen (July 2011), is Singapore at 70 percent (which is staggering considering that smartphones are only 21.5 percent of global handset sales).
• When Informa looked at 3G handset penetration at the end of 2009, the only countries where the majority of handsets were 3G were Japan (90 percent), South Korea (75 percent) and Australia (56 percent) – so it is probably fair to assume that most citizens in most cities around the world do not have a 3G handset yet.
Contributors: LCI, JT.

Consumer use of mobile data services
The citizens of a mobile city are regular users of mobile services – mobile Web, apps, mobile video, email, SMS etc.
• Comparison surveys between Japan, USA and Europe’s largest nations, conducted by ComScore, suggests that Japanese consumers are more regular mobile users on almost all fronts except SMS (all Japanese phones have email, making SMS fairly redundant). 77 percent of Japanese consumers regularly used a mobile browser, app or download, compared to 47 percent in the US and 41 percent in Europe. Other mobile hotspots such as Singapore and Korea were not included in this research.
• 81 percent of Japanese mobile subscriptions include mobile Web, according to the Telecommunications Carriers Association (June 2011).
• Research from Informa found that among smartphone users (i.e. not including laptops or feature phones), the South Koreans have the healthiest appetite for the heaviest of mobile services, consuming 271MB of data per month, followed by Japanese at 199MB per month, compared to a global average of 85MB per month.
Contributors: JT, MB.

Availability of a reliable, affordable high-speed mobile broadband
Next, our citizens need ubiquitous high-speed mobile broadband, wherever and whenever they require it – whether at the office, home (i.e. not hanging out of the window) commuting etc. It is essential that mobile city is guaranteed complete coverage of 3G or better by operators at a price that is affordable for all – including people on low incomes and foreign visitors. If not, the city should bypass the operator networks using WiFi.
• Countrywide 3G coverage has only been achieved where operators had strict deadlines to deliver 3G roll-outs e.g. Sweden or delivering fast Internet became a focus of the operator competition to attract customers to the network or portal e.g. Japan. In many countries operators have failed to deliver countrywide 3G coverage, (despite having had their 3G licenses for a decade) – look how poor 3G coverage is in the UK, for example.
• In some countries operators have started to roll out so-called fourth-generation (4G) broadband. In Korea, KT has completed a WiBro network covering 82 cities. WiBro delivers high-speed mobile broadband even in moving vehicles – in Seoul you can surf while riding the subway. In the US, Sprint is rolling out WiMax in some cities, after trialing it in Baltimore.
• As the city mobilizes, no one should be left behind. All cities should have a written policy for mobile inclusion – Smart Korea for All is a useful blueprint.
• Mobile inclusion is particularly important in cities in the developing world, where mobile is hailed for its potential to help bridge the digital divide. Those citizens who have been denied access to resources – such as education, health, culture and information – in the real and online world, due to lack of disposable income and access to a PC, could now access these through their mobile. The mobile city can provide everything from access to city services to education on health issues via mobile, but it must be inclusive – mobile bills must be affordable for all and no service should be exclusively available to people with expensive smartphones.
• Overpriced mobile contracts hold back development, which seems to be the case in Canada, which has the world’s highest phone bills, while being ranked 43rd in the world for mobile penetration.
• Affordable high-speed mobile starts with reasonably-priced flat-rate data plans. First introduced in Japan in 2004, the flat-rate plan drove rapid adoption of the mobile Web. Today experts believe that 75 percent of Japanese people are on flat-rate plans, while ComScore estimate that as few as 29 percent of Americans and 8 percent of Europeans are on flat-rate plans.
• WiFi/wireless hotspots offer the mobile city an alternative or supplement to mobile operator networks, when they are unavailable, unreliable, too low bandwidth or too costly. WiFi may be provided by the city or private enterprises, such as restaurants, pubs and airports or public facilities such as libraries and parks. It is offered for free to attract customers or add value, sponsored by advertising or paid-for to earn extra revenue, and may be set up in partnership with a telephony company. Policies vary from country to country – in the US 61 percent of WiFi is free, in China it’s 15 percent, but in the UK it is less than 1 percent. Cities with lots of hotspots according to JWire include London (UK) 24,028, Moscow (Russian Federation) 14,927, Jiangsu 19,832, Zhejiang 12,829, Guangdong 12,262 (China), New York City (US) 8,666, Taipei (Taiwan) 5,931, Paris (France) 3,059, Singapore 2,145 Tokyo (Japan) 1,936 and Hong Kong 1,557.
• The most forward-looking cities now have a stated policies for implementing free WiFi, which is a major boon for citizens and visitors. These include Hong Kong, Taipei, Seoul and Singapore. In New York City, free Wifi is being installed throughout one neighborhood of Brooklyn.
• Free WiFi would be of greatest benefit to citizens of cities in developing nations where PCs/fixed broadband is lowest and mobile bills are highest in proportion to the average wage (e.g. Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, China).
Contributors: APT, HI, CB, MB, PK, DL.

This video report was made back in 2006 when KT launched its WiBro service. The roll out was recently completed:

Density of mobile business
The number of companies involved in mobile in the city, taking into account the number of employees and mobile’s contribution to the local economy, the level of mobile innovation, the level of investment in mobile, including from venture capitalists, all contribute to the DNA of the mobile city. Mobile business hubs often grow up in and around the local mobile/telecom giant, near potential clients, or in areas with a history in Internet or technical innovation (often because the company founders previously worked at a large telecom or tech company). Working on this principle, you should look for the influence of Samsung, LG and SK Telecom on Seoul (South Korea); Nokia on Espoo and Helsinki (Finland); ZTE, Huawei and Tencent on Shenzhen (China); Ericsson on Stockholm (Sweden); Google, Apple, Hewlett-Packard on Silicon Valley’s cities (USA); NTT DoCoMo and KDDI on Tokyo (Japan); T-mobile on Bonn (Germany); Vodafone on London (UK); Telefonica on Madrid (Spain) and so on.
Contributors: JT.

Access to city services and local government via mobile (m-government)
The mobile city engages citizens via mobile. This starts with a one-stop-shop mobile Internet portal that provide easy access to all mobile-friendly city services and provides the opportunity for residents to sign up for SMS or email alerts or download useful apps.
Mobile services don’t have to be sophisticated, just useful – e.g. a text alert reminding you to put out the recycling the day before collection, or warning you when your regular train is delayed. Similarly it’s more important that the mobile site works on all handsets, rather than looks excellent on a few. In the future this ‘portal’ has to become interactive and customizable – no citizen will accept a walled garden i.e. where the city decides what services are best.
• The Bahrain mobile portal provides access to an abundance of information, news, legal, health, tourism and visa services, including the ability to pay bills, apply for financial support, check up on complaints, get exam results and track parcels in Arabic and English. The portal was honored at the WSA Mobile Awards.
• The Hong Kong mobile portal is also comprehensive, providing lots of information in Chinese (traditional and simplified) and English, including HK government news, weather, pollution levels, traffic information, videos, mapping, public (free) WiFi locator, information on health and the ability to send a complaint about government services. The portal links to other sites and apps and, if these are non-mobile, it offers to make the site mobile-friendly with Google Mobilizer.
• Helsinki has several mobile sites and services in Finnish, Swedish and English, that enable mobile users to complete tasks such as plan a journey, search for a library book, receive an SMS when a book becomes available, look up a phone number in the city phone directory, SMS reminders for dental appointments by mobile and check up on a construction project using the reference number listed at the site, and plan your cultural activity on, but there’s no city portal as such.
• The Singapore mobile portal is a modern site using lots of smartphone-type icons enabling tasks such as plan a journey, search the city directory, which has handy click-to-call numbers and click-to-email address, look for a library book and search for recent house sales or applications for planning permission.
• Singapore provides a variety of SMS-based services, including checking the validity of a work permit by texting the number, or you can send your feedback on Government policies and issues by text. The Department of Statistics will send a host of up-to-date statistics on request by text. Singapore residents can also check whether they need to file a tax return by text.
Contributors: TE.

Video: the award-winning Bahrain mobile portal:

Mobile ID
A unique mobile ID enables citizens to prove their identity, so they are able to securely access city services, vote, bank, shop etc.
• The mobile ID was pioneered in Estonia, using the same technology and standards as the country’s ID card. Each SIM card has a unique ID, which acts as a digital signature. First introduced by network operator EMT in 2007, the mobile ID has since been adopted by the other Estonian operators. In the 2011 elections Estonians could vote over the Internet using their mobile ID, rather than their ID card.
• Mobile ID means that citizens can pay tax, parking fees, fines or be paid benefits, wages, refunds etc to/from city companies and institutions, gain entry to the workplace, register at the doctor, travel on public transport, withdraw a library book or cash in loyalty points at the supermarket all by mobile. It also means that whenever the user interacts with city institutions/companies, their personal preferences, purchase history and other contextual details are known. Mobile ID can underpin m-wallets, m-ticketing, m-banking and services based on near-field communications (NFC).
Contributors: HI, DL.

Use of mobile by city businesses
In the mobile city, all companies and organizations make it easy for all customers to do business with them via mobile.
• The measure of mobile-readiness should be the number of companies that have long-term mobile initiatives in place – providing essential information (e.g. location, contact details, products, services), services, commerce, billing, ticketing and loyalty programs in place – delivered in the most accessible/inclusive way, i.e. text, mobile Web. The mobility of the city’s businesses is evident everywhere in the real world – each bus stop, train station, shop, product packaging, billboard, flyer and business card contains a QR code shortcut to mobile sites or short code to text-based services and, as NFC takes off, tap-and-go terminals.
• The same is reflected in the virtual world where all businesses are easily found by citizen while out and about, whether searching via a search engine, mapping, directory and review services – this includes the international ones such as Google Search/Maps, Bing Search/Maps, Nokia Maps, Foursquare, Facebook Places, Yelp, Where, Layer, Zagat and all local services, including the city portal.
• In Tokyo (and all over Japan), tap-and-go terminals are everywhere and are used for customer engagement as well as payment. Visitors to McDonald’s in Tokyo, for example, can pay by mobile and redeem an m-coupon by touching the same terminal and check the nutritional details of the product by scanning the barcode on the packaging. McDonald’s Japan mobile site has over 16 million registered users and generates more than 100 million mobile page views per month, and 4.5 million use McDonald’s Kasazu m-coupons.
• However, as the QR code becomes popular abroad, it is less pervasive than it used to be in Tokyo, as the trend now is for ads to show a search box with key words instead. Increasingly billboards incorporate tap-and-go terminals that open up a site with more information and promotions or an instantly redeemable hot drink.
Contributors: JT, LCI.

Video case study: One of the most interesting m-commerce examples is the Cannes Lion winning Homeplus Subway Virtual Store in Seoul which allows customers to buy products from billboard posters at the station by scanning a product QR code.

Enabling/encouraging companies to develop mobile services for citizens
The mobile city builds an ecosystem where third-parties can develop mobile services for the citizens – rather than having to develop them itself. This is partly to do with providing the right regulatory environment and financial incentives, but mostly it is about providing developers with open interfaces to public data – preferably data produced by private companies also.
• If developers, for example, have access to public transportation data – schedules and real-time information about which buses/trains are running on time/delayed/cancelled, with access to real-time traffic information and detailed maps of routes, stops and stations – then they can develop excellent mobile apps that take the guesswork out of public transport. Or the driver’s app that navigates the best route, pays your toll/congestion charge and fines, then pays for a parking place, using feeds from traffic information, car parks etc.
• Interfaces to services need to be two-way, so apps can automatically pay road tolls or citizens can provide feedback on services, apply for job or discount, book an appointment, sign up for alerts or pay a bill, via the app.
N.B. this guide uses ‘apps’ in the general sense of an interactive mobile tool – mobile apps can be either Web-based or native/download apps.
• Open data is the mission in cities such as Helsinki (the public transportation API is already available, for example) and Singapore (where the national data site provides data on everything from availability of parking lots and traffic camera images to weather forecasts. Those cities found in countries with open-data strategies will find this task a little easier e.g. Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Thailand, United Kingdom and United States.
• Busan, South Korea’s second largest city, has taken this one step further, creating the Busan Mobile Application Development Centre, that assists companies that are developing apps for the citizens, all of which will be hosted on a city app store.
• Some local/national governments have made mobility a strategic goal. Take Korea for example, where as part of its Mobile Smart Life Activation Plan, the Communications Commission is driving rapid growth of NFC/contactless technologies by establishing an alliance of all mobile and payment providers and compelling manufacturers to make NFC-friendly phones. The French government recently pledged a Euro 20 million fund (US $28.65 million) to encourage development of NFC services.
• Cities should also help companies to achieve success with the mobile services they develop, by helping citizens discover the services and use them in a way that a fair proportion of revenues goes to the provider – this may mean finding a way to avoid or cap the prohibitive revenue shares charged by mobile operators and app stores. Experts inside and outside Japan agree that a key reason that the mobile ecosystem in Japan is light years ahead of the rest of the world, is because Japanese operators only charge 10 percent commission to businesses that wish to sell via their portals/app stores. Meanwhile in the rest of the world, companies often have to pay 35 percent or more of revenues to operators/app stores if they sell via their portals, app-store or using SMS payments.
• Cities should include useful mobile services from third parties on their mobile portals (such as Hong Kong and Singapore) – better still help citizens discover them and add them as they create their own personalized mobile portals. This could include setting up a dedicated city app store, following Busan’s example, where citizens can help themselves.
Contributors: LCI, HI, PK, CB.

Mobile payments (m-payments)
In the mobile city, people can pay for all goods and services and pay bills, securely by mobile, whether they are buying them via mobile Web, vending machine, in-store or at the station. Today, with the exception of Japan, there are few cities where more than a handful of companies/organizations accept payment-by-mobile either over the mobile Web or over the counter.
SMS payments are the most inclusive method of m-payment (all phones do SMS). It has a long track record – mobile users have been paying by SMS for over a decade, in return for ringtones, images, music, games, SMS alerts, TV voting etc. And it’s easy – the user sends a premium-rate SMS to a short-code number and money is deducted from their mobile bill. But there hasn’t been much innovation here, bar a few cities introducing SMS payments for parking or bus tickets – this may be because the revenue cut taken by mobile operators makes SMS uneconomical compared to other payment methods.
• Parking by SMS was introduced in Tallinn (Estonia) in 2000 – within three years, half of parking fees were paid by mobile. Since then it has been adopted elsewhere including London, where drivers can also pay for congestion charge by text.
• Public transport tickets by SMS was introduced in Tallinn in 2004. Today, SMS tickets are available in Prague (Czech), Stockholm (Sweden) and Helsinki.
• Plenty of m-payment innovation is coming from developing countries where, due to a lack of banking and payment services, popular money-transfer schemes are evolving rapidly into mobile wallets (m-wallets). 14 million Kenyans use Safaricom’s M-PESA, which enables people to pay bills, buy goods and tickets from participating companies/organizations with SMS payments, as well as providing banking-like services. Elsewhere, other services, such as Globe’s GCASH in the Philippines, are trying to emulate this success. Assuming city institutions and companies continue to capitalize on this mobile trend, Nairobi or Manila will soon be more mobile than many western cities.
M-commerce: despite the growing number of citizens with handsets that can access the Web in Western cities and evidence from mobile sales at Amazon, eBay et al, most city organizations and businesses have been slow to allow people to purchase, pay bills, buy tickets etc via the mobile Web.
• The Bahrain mobile portal allows residents to pay electricity and water bills, pay traffic tickets or criminal orders or renew a driving license. Payment is possible by SMS as well as m-commerce.
NFC payments: tap-and-go or contactless m-payments have attracted a lot of media attention of late – but deployments outside of Japan remain minimal, largely because virtually all handsets are not NFC phones. (See this article for a round up of everything NFC).
• Japan’s Mobile FeliCa system set up by NTT DoCoMo and Sony back in 2004. It is used by as many as 57 million customers and is accepted by up to 1.5 million outlets – stores, restaurants, public transport, even vending machines.
• Seven years later, government-led initiatives are underway that could bring tap-and-go to cities such as Seoul (Korea) and Singapore. And there are small pilots announced/underway in other cities, including Sitges (Spain), New York and San Francisco (USA).
• Of European cities, Nice (France) is the furthest ahead on tap-and-go. Following the success of the Cityzi pilot, AFSCM (a not-for-profit association, backed by French operators and payment providers) is rolling out NFC services to eight other cities, including Paris – services include in-store payments, transport ticketing, money-off coupons and tourist information. Operators have committed to delivering 1 million Cityzi NFC phones – the service uses a special SIM card – in 2011 and the French government has pledged a fund to drive development of NFC services.
Contributors: LCI, MB, DL, HI, PB, PK, FPM.

Video: demonstration of shopping with Cityzi, in Nice, France.

Mobilized transport
Every day hordes of people travel in, around and out of the city. The better able people are to plan/alter their journeys to avoid problem areas and the easier it is for them to pay, the more efficiently the city will move and the more likely that people will arrive content and on time. Many cities provide travel information by SMS, mobile Web and apps – the examples below are all free services (except for network fees). A few cities have introduced m-payments/m-tickets for public transport or for airline tickets.
• SMS-based ticketing is available on city buses, trains, trams and/or ferries in Tallinn, Prague (Czech), Stockholm (Sweden) and Helsinki.
• Tap-and-go/contactless/NFC ticketing has been widely available on subway trains, buses and taxis in Tokyo since 2005. Following recent trials with NFC in Nice, tap-and-go ticketing will be rolled out to eight French cities. See m-payments for more information m-payments for more information.
• Some airlines have introduced m-tickets at various city airports – these tickets are usually based on a unique QR code, scanned at the departure desk. In Tokyo’s Narita airport, with some airlines, it is possible to board by self-scanning at a tap-and-go terminal.
• London has one of the more comprehensive travel information services with both mobile Web and SMS-based services, including a journey planner – to find the best route, using all available modes of public transport from A to B; ability to check for problems on public transport or the roads; receive travel alerts or download an tube/underground map.
Helsinki also a good portfolio of mobile Web-based services including route planning, public transport and traffic info in English and Swedish, as well as Finnish.
• Information on the next bus, train, tram services are increasingly popular. Travelers in Barcelona (Spain) can get departure times of the next bus by text or mobile Web giving the bus and bus stop number. On some stops QR codes will hyperlink to a mobile site with relevant details of buses and service issues. A similar QR code service is being trialed in Helsinki.
• Mobile users love these services and they save the city money – if Orange Country Transportation Authority Text4Next service in Los Angeles (USA) is anything to go by. Within one year, Text4Next bus schedule service was used by 200,000 people a month, while weekly calls to its call centre fell from 18,000 to 14,500. With text messages costing US $0.10 and calls costing $2.00, Text4Next saved OCTA $350,000 in 12 months.
• For road users, Hong Kong provides one of the most practical mobile sites, giving details of delays, recent snapshots of roads from traffic cameras, traffic-speed map and cross-
harbor journey times.
Contributors: MB, FPM, PB, APT.

Travel and Tourism
Mobile is the perfect way to deliver information and mapping for foreign visitors – if only the city can find a way to avoid the punitive cost of international roaming charges.
• Official city guides are available for cities such as Tallinn, Hong Kong and Helsinki. For example, offers a round up of things to do and see, including a calendar of events, weather, emergency numbers, and a transport guide; the accommodation guide is particularly handy, allowing search by price, area, type of accommodation and availability of WiFi, with results that include click-to-call numbers and click-to-email and with a map.
• Official city guides are also available as download apps. Some apps work on several types of phone e.g. Amsterdam (Netherlands) – Java, Windows, BlackBerry, iOS – others only work on one e.g. Hong Kong, including the recent augmented-reality guide for iPhone. While download apps run contrary to a city’s obligation to be inclusive, some download apps can work offline, avoiding roaming costs (but not where an app needs to access data feeds or GPS).
• All sorts of mobile maps are available – from public transport maps, such as London tube lines to Hong Kong’s cutting-edge GeoMobile Map. An innovative twist is the paper tourist map for Paris (France) that includes QR codes that hyperlinks to more information about the places of interest.
• Today all tourist sites/apps feel like brochures, with little interactivity and no opportunity to customize by adding functions and feeds from elsewhere – all consumers like to read reviews from like-minded people and add their own point of view.
• The major headache for all cities is how to deliver mobile services without sending foreign visitors home with a US $1,000 phone bill. WiFi is one option, but long-term, cities must persuade mobile operators to reduce roaming.
Contributors: HI, TE, PK.

Mobile health (m-health)
An unhealthy populous will increase the city’s health bill and reduce workforce productivity, while missed appointments are costly for the health authority. Providing education on illness, disease, diet, spread awareness of free resources and reminders to take medication or attend an appointment by mobile helps to improve the general health and wellbeing of the populous. M-health services should use the most inclusive and as many mobile media as possible, which are SMS, then mobile Web, then download applications.
The Bahrain mobile portal provides a range of health services including find a doctor, pharmacy, health center or hospital; book an appointment for a pre-employment health check-up; and check blood records, body mass index, prices of drugs, radiology result or the status of a health complaint.
• Mobile can help to reduce teen pregnancy and improve sexual health. While mobile Web can provide more extensive education and information on prevention and treatment, SMS is a great way to allow teens to ask questions confidentially – e.g. Learning about Living in Nigeria and Ask Brook in the UK allow young people to text their questions about sexual health – and the best way to send reminders to take their medication or contraceptive pill. New York City uses mobile to help people find free condoms – but is restricted to iPhone users.
• Where medication needs to be taken on a regular basis, SMS can be used to remind and monitor adherence. A doctor from Cape Town, South Africa – concerned about patients not taking TB medication – developed a pill bottle with a SIM card in order to monitor when the bottle is opened, if not, an alert is sent to the patient and health provider. The invention is spreading round the world.
• In many cities, doctors and dentists have started to send SMS appointment reminders. Helsinki residents are reminded about dental appointments, while in the San Francisco Bay Area of the United States, Kaiser Permanente reduced missed doctors appointments by 1,837, saving US $150 a time.
• All food sold in the city should detail nutritional information on the packaging – a good way to do this is with QR codes, which when scanned display a Website full of information on the phone, e.g. in McDonald’s in Tokyo.
• Residents of Ljubljana (Slovenia) who are negatively impacted by air pollution from TE-TOL’s coal-based power stations can monitor the levels of pollutants emitted and efforts to combat them via a mobile site.
• For a lot more examples of m-health see: The insider’s guide to mobile health.
Contributors: APT, CB, MB.

Mobile is the best way for consumers to report an issue – litter, vandalism, potholes, water leak, broken traffic lights, abandoned road works or fallen telephone or power lines etc – as they come across it around the city to the city. Mobile is also a good way to interact with the Police, whether that is reporting a crime, checking up on progress of an investigation, or receiving alerts about criminal activity in your area or requests for information on a crime.
Contributors: APT, CB.

Video: In Boston (USA) CitizensConnect enables residents (who have an iPhone or Android device) to report graffiti, potholes, broken streetlights etc. Each report is given a tracking number, so the citizen can check on progress.

• The mobile city project remains live – mobiThinking welcomes any additional information about any innovative mobile activities in any city: editor (at)

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