(Cincinnati)-The City of Cincinnati has launched a technological initiative on Wednesday that helps improve the communication between Cincinnatians and city departments, through a website that has been running for two years.
The City has partnered with Nextdoor.com, to “provide timely information like free events, reminders, administrative changes, those things that will make our communication and our community engagement efforts a little bit easier,” said spokesperson Tiffany Hardy.
In the social network, a person signs up for the free website and then invites his/ her neighbors to join. Each neighborhood has its own Nextdoor neighborhood website, which can only be accessed by people in that neighborhood.
“The city will be able to provide timely information to targeted groups. So if we wanted to reach out to one neighborhood or all 52 neighborhoods, it allows us to do that,” Hardy said.
The city can send information such as events, road closures, and any information that they feel is necessary to be sent out to the neighborhoods.
“Say if there's a street closure in Camp Washington and we want the neighbors to know, we would just send a quick email out, a quick message out like, 'Hey Cobble Street at MLK is closed for 2 hours.’ So it just allows us to get information out to the community members that way,” said Hardy.
“It also allows residents to find a handyman within their neighborhood or a babysitter or say if someone's sick and they notice that their paper hasn't been picked up,” Hardy said. “It allows them to keep track and check in on their neighbors and just really fostering a sense of community back into our community and getting all our communities connected again.”
Nextdoor is in 16,000 communities throughout the nation. Cincinnati is the first city in Ohio to join the program.
“We've noticed over the past couple years that there's a loss in the strength of community and family connections within neighborhoods,” Hardy said. “So this is just an opportunity, online dialog opportunity, for community members to connect with each other online and then hopefully to take that outside so that they really get to know their next door neighbors.”
So far, Cincinnati has about 2,000 residents using the website and the number is still growing.