The system is a new communication channel between the Local Council of Gordexola and the citizens. The smart phone application allows citizens to participate, easily voting on their preferred option using their phone with no need to register. Local administrators offer a description with relevant information related to each plan so that citizens have a better background in order to decide. Having more details about these issues improves the knowledge the neighbors of Gordexola have about what is going on in their town, and they also receive feedback about the current percentages of the votes for each issue. During the first trial three prototype plans have been included with voting options, questions and space for free comment.
However, the most important aspect of this application is that it features an enhanced view of the plans overlapped on the real view of the smart phone camera that shows the 3D model of the infrastructure in the exact place where it will be built. Not only this, but the augmented reality feature also allows to see the 3D models overlapped on pictures of the selected location, opening the possibility of reaching citizens that are not there at the moment. These pictures can be shared through the current municipal communication channels such as the local municipal magazines and publications, the web page of Gordexola or information panels located in strategic settings.
The information collected from the citizen participation is used as new input for the decision makers to have a better and more realistic understanding of what the people they serve are interested in at any moment and not only depend on the political calendar that is presented prior to the elections. The opinion collected from the users can be then analyzed according to demographic characteristics or other information collected through the application that gives even further knowledge about what the inhabitants think about a proposed issue.
The Governing Body of Town Council of Gordexola is pleased with hosting this pioneering trial of eParticipation. This town has a tradition of being ahead of its time in terms of technological advance and offering its inhabitants modern services and they are therefore looking forward to collaborating in the next months in order to be able to fully test the entire system and prove its possibilities.
Developed under Live+Gov project of the European Union. More details in http://liveandgov.eu.