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How citizens are helping to fix Brussels’ streets

With cities looking to become more pedestrian friendly, the appearance of public space has never been so important. Nick Michell discovers how Brussels is using mobile technology to fix its city streets

BRUSSELS

The Fix My Street website provides users with an interactive map where they can track the progress of incidents
Photo: Brussels-Capital Region

Ever tripped on a loose pavement stone, driven over a huge pothole in the road or been bothered by a defective streetlight outside your house, and not known the relevant authority or person to contact to deal with the problem? Well, Brussels have come up with a solution.

Launched in April 2013 by Bruxelles Mobilité, the administration of the Brussels-Capital Region responsible for equipment, infrastructure and mobility issues, the Fix My Street Internet and mobile platform is a way for citizens to report problems in the public space electronically, such as potholes, broken pavements, defaced walls, faded road marking, fly tipping, and problems with public lighting and road signs, through a single point of contact.

“We discovered there was a demand for an application that could help fix various issues on the streets of Brussels,” says Julie Delhaye, Implementation Manager, Brussels Regional Informatics Centre, which developed and maintains the website and mobile application. “No app existed in Brussels at the time that fitted the bill so we decided to develop a collaboration platform using an open source code.”

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