Can that be true? Quit spending ages waiting at the public office but instead calling up information about the city and leisure tips right from where I'm standing? Yes, that's possible. With the „Citykey“ smart city app.
We live in a time and a country with so much prosperity, technology and well-organized communal life: The average household naturally includes a PC, a tablet, a smartphone. We organize our family, friends and appointments via messenger app. We are shopping online. We connect digitally to concerts on the other side of the world. But in my immediate environment - I'm talking about my house on my street in my city - I encounter many, really many forms on paper for administrative procedures. The mailman brings the referendum to sign. I read the calendar of events in the printed magazine. I use countless more or less well-designed, often insecure apps with info about what my city and region offer. In 2021. Yes, that's how it is. Still. Does it have to be like that?!
In other words, what do I want?
I want to do everything via smartphone: App instead of office. I want to be reminded when I have to put out the plastic waste. I want to have a digital say in the citizens' survey on the controversial residential development. I want to apply digitally for a parking permit for residents. When I'm out and about, I need information about the places of interest nearby. The app can find me. Regardless of whether I'm in the city as a citizen, commuter or tourist. This also means that the app has to accompany me fluently when I drive from the Ruhr area to Bonn. Of course, I also want to think beyond the end of my nose. Which event in the region sounds interesting? Very important: I don't want to have to search around. The app should be tailored to my personal user behavior and be easy to use. By the way, whatever helps me also helps the administration - no more paperwork and multiple, error-prone data entry.
"Citykey" - that's the name of the app for the smart city.
The majority of people are not satisfied with digital government services. 56 percent of citizens are not content with the online services offered by public authorities. The digital association Bitkom (note: info in German) is calling for consistent digitization of public administration. By law, everyone in Germany should be able to access 600 government services by the end of 2022. Citykey makes life easier for me, as well as for the authorities and the service providers in the city. More than 10 cities in Germany are already testing the app. The app relies on dynamic, location-based services. Users configure the content according to their personal interests. The photo show explains what it can do.
What do I care about the technology behind it...?
Of course, the technical aspects of the smart city app are important to me. After all, I don't want to fall for the next data dump or rely on a throwaway: Citykey runs on smartphones with Google Android or Apple iOS operating systems and with all mobile carriers. The platform uses open source standards. Furthermore, it is hosted by Telekom in accordance with German data protection requirements. The app can be expanded according to the wishes of the cities. Citizens, city representatives and technology experts together designed and tested services for the app. Thanks to the open, expandable platform, both smaller municipalities with tighter budgets and financially strong cities benefit from the app. From mid-2021, it will be officially available in the app stores, free of charge.
I'm looking forward to it. It will make my everyday life easier.