Smartphone users can learn about new constructions in various neighborhoods.
A London pilot project is using quick response codes throughout the city to help to communicate with the city’s residents and visitors regarding sidewalk maintenance.
Every summer, city workers inspect more than 850 miles of sidewalks.
When they are deemed to be in need of repairs, they can be out of commission throughout that time. In order to help to better inform pedestrians about these repairs and their status, the city of London has erected lawn signs with quick response codes, email addresses, and a phone number. When scanned, the QR code resolves to the official city website, where more information is provided regarding the specific construction project, as well as how they can reach someone regarding any questions, concerns, or complaints that they might have.
Matt Brown, Ward 7 city councilor, spearheaded this smartphone friendly project.
According to Brown, he came up with the idea as he was attempting to come up with a low- or no-cost option that could provide the residents of the city with a quick and efficient way to link with the city’s staff and the latest news regarding construction projects. He added that “More and more Londoners are able to access the Internet remotely and the city’s communications need to keep up with that.”
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As a growing number of people carry smartphones with significantly greater capabilities than standard cell phones, quick response codes have become a fast and simply way for these device owners to inform themselves. Equally, Brown has recognized that not everyone is quite that tech savvy, and that smartphone penetration has not yet reached every resident of the city, which is why the additional contact information is also posted on the signs, without the need to scan QR codes.
According to Brown, “Those are the established lines of communications for most Londoners.” There will be four repair crews that will be taking part in this pilot project with the lawn signs featuring the quick response codes. The hope is that if the signage proves successful, the rest of the city will begin to consider the broader use of the barcodes on its signs.