It’s a well-known fact: cities hold a massive amount of information that is useful for their population, but interacting with one’s city is not always easy for citizens.
For example, using a search engine to know more about the regulations pertaining to the construction of an annex for your home, or for renting out your apartment in a manner that complies with the rules, results in a plethora of long articles that people are no longer interested in reading. It is a recognized fact that informative yet easily digestible results are often preferable.
“Times have changed, we must adjust to people’s habits and modernize”, says Vivianne Gravel, President and Founder of B-CITI Solutions Inc. “People must be able to find information easily, therefore access to the information that cities hold must be simplified, as well as access to the services that they offer. This is very important, because people are used to obtaining rapid search results on Google, on Netflix and on YouTube, platforms that are very easy to use and offer simple interfaces.”
However, cities don’t have enough manpower. This pushes them to optimize their resources and automate certain aspects as they attempt to meet the growing needs and demands of their citizens. Some cities are even thinking of recycling telephone booths in order to install tablets and turn them into self-service information kiosks!
For Vivianne Gravel, the solution for cities is bciti, the platform developed by her company to bring together all municipal and paramunicipal services into one easily accessible place that is always within reach, thereby allowing the public to interact with the full set of digital tools offered by their city of residence, regardless of its size.
“According to our numbers, 80% of people prefer using their smartphone”, she explains. “Whether he or she is at home or on a bus, they can find answers to their questions, register their child for an activity, browse through the public library... All from the same app.”
What’s more, bciti’s customized digital platforms are well-positioned to help cities play a unifying role with their parapublic partners, such as public transit services and health services. Their municipal application can also integrate additional information coming from third-party organizations, such as regional committees, outdoor recreational centres, hydro-electric utilities, and much more.
Cities also gain the advantage of being able to proactively inform their citizens, all in real time: important changes or announcements, boil water notices, changes in domestic waste and recycling collection schedules, at what time the snowplow will be coming by... All things that affect the lives of their residents.
“It’s about doing everything possible to simplify and improve citizens’ daily lives”, says Vivianne Gravel. “Our platform rapidly collects information and isolated data in a tentacular manner, like an octopus beneath the water’s surface, and can be deployed within hours, starting with eight basic services that all meet the needs of citizens and even those of visitors. The municipality can then connect citizens’ cards to its public library, its recreational services, its cultural events, etc. Citizens are referred to services located in their city and use their city’s resources, which promotes the economy and hyper-local economic development. All is managed by the bciti platform in a holistic way.”
The platform also allows a city to easily consult its citizens, on a multitude of subjects, through surveys or participatory consultations that are available within the application. This quickly provides indicators on the wishes and trends of the community, which brings about a better symbiosis between residents and their city, as well as a better quality of life.
“The ideas, possibilities, and services that can be integrated into our platform are truly infinite”, proudly adds Vivianne Gravel. “bciti allows for a fast and impressive evolution, perhaps even a revolution, of the ties between cities and their citizens. This is our purpose!”
- B-CITI Solutions inc.'s team