How a community app can help locals
Unless you’ve lived in the same place all your life, getting your footing when you’ve moved to a new location can take you a little bit of time. From figuring out when waste collection runs to what events the community puts together, sometimes it’s not enough to just have a church bulletin board or to rely on your Homeowners Association. You need more, especially if you’re new to town.
That’s where an app comes in handy.
Apps that are designed for communities have a few obvious benefits, but there’s more to it than just keeping a little guide to your city in your pocket. As our lives become even more fragmented through technology and just through how busy we all are, a little community guide can go a long way towards making your new place feel a lot like home – and if that’s not a great use for an app, what else can be?
Here’s a few reasons why a community app is so beneficial.
Connect to your local amenities
Say you’ve just moved somewhere new. You probably researched a lot to start with, but in the hassle of the move, it’s not surprising if you’ve forgotten what you’ve already researched.
A community app can be built with a list of these amenities in mind. It’ll help residents find their way to the local library, to the local laundromat, to figure out where the nearest gas station is. Sure, there’s Google, but Google Maps isn’t always updated with a local’s perspective, and if your city’s undergoing a change, it’s likely that that information could be a little outdated.
App to keep in mind: The San Antonio Public Library has an app! You can use it to browse what’s been recently added to the shelves, ask the library to hold a book for you, and even renew a loan for that book you haven’t gotten around to reading yet.
Figure out where maintenance is happening.
If there’s maintenance planned for your community, a little forewarning can go a long way towards making sure you’re equipped to deal with it. If your road is blocked or your electricity is going to be switched off, you can make plans to be elsewhere – that way, there’s no interruptions to your day to day life, and you won’t need to have to readjust your day on the fly if you’ve got a busy day of meetings and your local council has decided to dig for a new sidewalk right outside your window.
Report issues directly to your city council.
Potholes, abandoned vehicles, animal control, broken traffic lights: these things happen. What also happens is that city councils can miss a hazard like this easily, and it can become a much bigger problem much faster. Trying to call in one of these issues when you’re not familiar with the location is another problem.
With an app, that ceases to be a concern. Using geolocation or GPS, reporting issues to the council can become a lot easier, and more accurate, which means problems can get fixed much faster.
App to keep in mind: Get it done, San Diego! is a community app available on both iOS and Android created to report non-emergency problems such as potholes and graffiti to the city. Simply by taking a picture and uploading it to the app, you can register a ticket with the council to get whatever issue you’ve spotted fixed fast.
Sometimes, it’s easier to shop at big box stores – they usually have offers that are advertised online and in-store, and it can be difficult to get that same level of information from the local stores, unless you live directly near them. With an app, these local businesses can advertise directly to residents, and it’s a win-win for everyone involved – residents get to shop their products locally, and local businesses get a little boost of profit from the people that matter most: their community.
Whether you want to reserve the use of a public amenity, like a tennis court, or you want to book an appointment with your local representative, an app can help streamline the process so that you’re not left waiting for a call back before you can make plans. You can also use the same app to promote events happening locally, driving more attention to local businesses that are making use of those amenities.