Textizen, the second of two civic engagement projects announced by Code for America 2012 fellows launched its pilot program in conjunction with the Philadelphia City Planning Commission this week.
The new tool allows citizens to use text messaging to offer civic feedback for specific city projects and initiatives. For the pilot project, the PCPC will be posting advertisements throughout Center City and the lower Northeast asking survey questions about the city and urging citizens to use the app to respond. The feedback will inform the city’s ongoing comprehensive plan, Philadelphia2035, according to the press release.
“We look forward to monitoring the results and hope to expand this from a pilot into a permanent outreach tool as we continue work on Philadelphia2035 and other efforts,” said Planning Commission Executive Director Gary Jastrzab in the release.
Beyond the PCPC, Textizen will be a tool any government agency or large body could use to collect citizen input.
“We built Textizen to be a generalizable tool, not specific to planning,” said CFA 2012 project lead Michelle Lee. “The pilot simply kicked off with PCPC because they approached us with the need for a digital citizen feedback tool, and their staff were so creative and great to partner with.”
CFA 2012 fellow Alex Yule is also a lead on the Textizen project.
Textizen adds another layer to the collection of transparency apps that are intended to open lines of communication between citizens and government agencies, including the beleaguered Philly 311 app and the City Hall App released by Councilman Bobby Henon’s office.
If you want to learn more about Textizen you can watch a short video created by the team below:
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