Greening & Environment news

Greening & Environment news

Cityspec finalist in Better Living Challenge

26 Aug 2014 15:10
Local specialist design agency, Formula D interactive's Cityspec tool, developed in partnership with the Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading (VPUU) project, addresses the challenge of basic service delivery through an innovative community driven reporting system using mobile technology.
The prototype has been selected as a finalist in the Better Living Challenge - a collaborative project between the public and private sector, and civil society to uncover solutions and ideas to improve the lives and homes of people living in low-income areas.

Communities in Cape Town's informal settlements live in harsh conditions. With rapid urban growth come major problems arising from the lack of basic service delivery: toilets, taps and street lights are often broken or do not get adequately maintained due to a lack of supervision of city contractors. This leads to a situation where the municipality is often not aware of damaged facilities, and access to hotlines has proven difficult.

"With the Cityspec software tool, community workers in Khayelitsha can log reports straight to a central database, a process which was previously done with notepad, pen and paper", says Iris Taani, who is responsible for the project at VPUU. "The system gives users access to parts lists with reference drawings to describe possible faults as precisely as possible. Workers can also take photos and log GPS data, which is crucial."

Formula D’s interaction designer Ivan Pecorari talks to inspection workers

Cityspec also provides a web-based control centre for co-ordinators to create and track tasks for specific workers, inspection items and areas. Ultimately, the system generates data for reports needed by the city to action immediate remedial work.

The Cityspec project is one of 23 finalists from 130 entries and may win one of three grand prizes that each consist of half a million rand's worth of support services to further develop the best concepts. "We are extremely happy to be a finalist," says Michael Wolf, CEO of Formula D interactive. "If we win, we can take our solutions to the next level. It is an important project and we believe it can make a difference to the lives of people living in informal settlements."
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