User Groups determine future development

Published on 26 August 2019

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User feedback is important to us 

OpenCities is committed to providing the best technology possible for local governments. We research the latest advancements and involve the most forward-looking developers, designers and thought leaders on our team.  But we wouldn’t be able to provide continuous upgrades without the help of our partners in local governments around the globe.  

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Every year, we host OpenCities’ User Groups to hear about how our platform is working for our customers, how we can make it better and discuss their and our priorities for future features. This year was no exception.  

The OpenCities team traveled throughout Australia, meeting with our partners in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.  This year, for the first time, we crossed the Pacific and held a User Group with participants in the United States.  

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Users were presented with possible projects under consideration by our development team and then had the opportunity to vote for the ones that were most important to their communities. The results have helped us determine our road map for the next year. 

Local governments are using OpenCities to serve better

One of the things we love most about User Groups is hearing stories about how local governments are using our platform to its fullest potential.  

  • We were elated to find that the City of Orlando, Florida, USA, is using our maps module to help residents pinpoint transportation routes and potential issues with bodies of water in the area. Additionally, they are using the public notices module to inform their community about important topics.  
  • The City of Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA, created Leg Up, an OpenCities Subsite, to inform staff of state and federal legislative actions. They used OpenCities API to pull information from three other sites, giving them a single source of truth. The site was launched in just two months.  
  • Kansas City, Kansas, USA, shared that during a Digital Services Academy session with OpenCities, they uncovered a poorly realized workflow that created an unjust process for certain court defendants.  An order was issued, and the policy was changed within 24 hours.  
  • City of Adelaide, South Australia, is working on a customer-focused redesign of all council services. An evaluation of their old customer experience revealed numerous roadblocks, and by reviewing their new forms through a customer lens they are now delivering a consistent experience that improves both the transparency and clarity of their processes. 

  • City of Tea Tree Gully, South Australia, is in the middle of an organization-wide digital service transformation project. Aiming to deliver 24/7 customer service and increase their customer service capacity and efficiency, they have already digitized 1,000s of complex customer requests. 

Every one of these inspirational stories spoke to the heart of a true digital government transformation. The OpenCities team could not have been prouder or more energized to continue building tools and features that are used to their fullest potential.  

We look forward to developing the features modern government demands and hearing more about how local governments are serving better at next year’s User Groups.  

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