We all know that national elections can get messy. And I mean that in a literal way. Once the election night is over and the lights of the election parties have gone out, the dull work of cleaning up all the campaign material starts. Even weeks after the election night, political candidates still smile down on us from posters in streets and lamp-posts.
In Denmark, the local version of Mobile Alert is helping make the clean-up efforts after the June national election a little smarter. The app, which has been in use in Denmark for four years, is already widely used with more than 50,000 downloads and close to 1,000 reports a month on incidents like potholes, vandalism, damaged street lights, and more.
By adding an extra category to the app, we gave Danish citizens the ability to report campaign posters that had not been removed to the local authorities. The local authorities can then contact the responsible candidate or party and have them remove the posters, or they can choose to have the local authorities remove the posters at the party’s expense.
To spread the news, we promoted the new feature in many Danish print and web media outlets, as well as interviews on Danish morning radio programs. That got the ball rolling, and within three weeks of our awareness campaign, more than 175 reports on abandoned election posters had been sent through the Mobile Alert app.
This is just one example of how mobile technology and data crowdsourcing can improve and streamline the maintenance of public space in and outside of the cities. In our experience, both local authorities and citizens benefit from working together this way, and new, similar use cases pop up every day all over the world.
We hope this use of mobile technology and data crowdsourcing impacts how other countries and cities across Europe make politicians clean up after themselves.