25 April 2012 Zagreb two steps ahead in social media
The city of Zagreb has started to implement the 9 Mio Euro EC-funded Future Policy Modelling (FUPOL) research project. Experts of the city administration and European partners met on 17 April to start working on a detailed implementation roadmap which will be finalized in May 2012. The project will enable the city administration to improve the dialogue with citizens and provide better services through the use of social media.
“Putting citizens first – we really want that citizens are informed about political decisions and that they take part in the whole decision making process. E-Participation through electronic media is a new way of supporting this objective and we are confident that it has a lot of benefits for our citizens” said Milan Bandic, Mayor of the City of Zagreb.
Social Media such as Facebook, Twitter or Google are complementing existing channels by providing a quick two way communication between citizens and the city administration. Practice has shown that more pieces of information have reached people through social networks than through conventional media. The innovative solutions developed by the FUPOL project will help the city administration to process and analyse issues raised by citizens and react quickly.
“The city of Zagreb is very innovative and can already be considered a regional leader in the use of social media. The city administration has also a very good level in other systems deemed important for a city administration such a geographical information systems (GIS)” stated Peter Sonntagbauer FUPOL project director after the meetings.
About Zagreb in Social Media
The starting point and main intention for developing social networks of the Mayor of Zagreb was to enable the direct, better and open communication between citizens of Zagreb and Mayor, the chief representative of the Zagreb City administration.
FUPOL aims at a completely new approach to traditional politics. Major innovations like multichannel social computing and crowd sourcing will change the way politicians communicate with citizens and enterprises and take decisions. The system will be able to automatically collect, analyze and interpret opinions expressed on a large scale from the Internet. This will enable governments to gain a better understanding of the needs of citizens. Likewise the software will have the capabilities to simulate the effects of policies and laws and to assist governments in the whole policy design process.