As the coronavirus spreads across the world, cities are striving to be proactive and take steps to prepare their communities. Government officials in the United States on the federal, state and city levels across a wide spectrum of technological sophistication are working to comprehend and combat the severe negative effects on their cities, constituents, and businesses.
Cities can greatly benefit from operating with efficiency across communication and planning verticals while considering the transmission patterns of COVID-19. For these reasons, comprehensive, proven, and effective SaaS solutions could be exceptionally helpful in mitigating ongoing risks and future recovery efforts. One way to do so is by implementing a unique, people-powered city platform that enables municipalities to strengthen civic and community engagement by rewarding residents who act in healthy and positive ways.
Cities can prepare around several main efforts:
Since cities have limited control of social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, they struggle to ensure residents take action, nor can they ensure their residents will even receive messages of vital importance during a crisis. Cities are thus beholden to the algorithms of social media platforms and are unable to guarantee the impact or visibility of their messages.
Cities can make sure that they can not only disseminate information to residents securely, accurately and in real-time but also ensure they incentivize residents to act on the information by rewarding them for their valuable actions.
Without better communication methodologies, some experts say, “we’ll see an increase in dissatisfaction in government … [and] a general ambivalence toward civic institutions… we need an ecosystem that fosters civic innovation rather than stifling it.”
Cities can use tools to encourage and reward residents for reporting and offering information about themselves, their families and their community. Cities can learn about what is occurring in their cities by surveying residents and soliciting reports. These surveys and reports can help garner data and information to understand how to conduct emergency response efforts and optimally protect residents.
Cities can offer residents opportunities to volunteer and help with efforts to combat COVID-19. By making residents aware of volunteer opportunities where it counts most, cities can encourage and reward residents for helping in times of need, for example, supporting the government workforce and assisting senior citizens.
As the coronavirus spreads, cities can ensure residents are taking proactive steps to prepare for unknown circumstances such as quarantine, lack of food and medical supplies, childcare, and more. Cities can reward behavior that leads to effective preparedness efforts, which will, in turn, mitigate chaos and uncertainty.
For example, as stores are running low on items particular to infectious diseases, residents can see what’s on the shelves at a local business by receiving live updates through the platform and make informed decisions on where they should go. This will help increase social distancing, and residents who aren’t quarantined can minimize time spent meandering through stores searching for a bottle of hand sanitizer.
During the COVID-19 crisis, our immediate focus is combating the immediate effects of the virus — finding quick, short-term solutions to stop the virus from spreading. These short-term solutions, such as restricting travel, eliminating tourism, and reducing shopping, sporting, and community events all have drastic economic implications on businesses and business owners throughout the country.
Therefore, once the crisis is over cities can benefit from proactively focusing on the rehabilitation of local businesses, revitalization of a sense of community, encouraging residents to go back to previous habits and lifestyle, as well as mitigating psychological implications from the crisis.
Cities may have a need to spend taxpayer dollars and federal/state funds to recover from COVID-19’s economic implications. Cities can transparently show residents how they are spending these funds and demonstrate that they are prepared to spend the funds in a way that boosts economic growth by encouraging and rewarding local purchasing, instead of purchasing from e-commerce giants.
Colu can help cities accomplish these goals through its proven and effective people-powered city platform, which enables strengthened civic and community engagement by rewarding residents who participate in their city’s efforts to solve adverse situations.
Reach out to us directly at Coronavirusresponse@colu.com for more information.