RoadLab +: Using Citizen Engagement to improve Urban Transportation
This document is a blueprint for the implementation of RoadLab+, a proposed citizen-engagement project that leverages data from transportation users and government to achieve key improvements to urban transportation systems globally. The overarching purposes of the project, depending on the context, are a combination of – lowered government costs, increased interactions between citizens and the government, and an increased flow of information from the government to the citizenry, all in the context of the state of road infrastructure in the city in question.
This document outlines the features and functions of the RoadLab+ as well as proposals for how to implement a potential RoadLab+ application in different types of cities around the world.
The forerunner of RoadLab+ is a citizen-engagement project called RoadLab, which was implemented in Belarus and Uganda, by the World Bank and the University of California, Santa Barbara, respectively. In both countries, the program consisted of an Android app that succeeded in dramatically reducing the costs of road roughness monitoring for the implementing agency.
Neither project however succeeded, or even truly attempted to, gather buy-in and users from the citizenry at large. RoadLab+ is partially an attempt to upgrade the RoadLab framework in such a way that citizens are incentivized to be active users of the application, further lowering government costs, and improving the level of information gathered by the government.