Gain access to the city’s services and resources at the swipe of a card: Gijon’s Citizen Card is an access and payment card that holds the key to a wide range of services across the city. Developed in 2002, the scope of the card has continued to grow and it now provides cardholders with access to anything from electric vehicle sharing and public toilets to libraries and sports facilities. Today, 80% of Gijon’s population holds a Citizen Card. The city has benefited from user data to identify patterns and changes in citizens’ behaviour, allowing it to develop public policies that more closely meet the needs of its citizens. The card continues to be an important factor for Gijon’s quality of life. It makes choosing healthier, greener options easier, such as hiring bicycles and using municipal sports facilities, and offers a ‘social bonus’ giving access to sports facilities to those who otherwise might not be able to.
Smart Jobs: Brighton & Hove
BEACH – Brighton Employability Advice and Careers Hut (Brighton & Hove)
BEACH is the go-to place for employability advice in Brighton & Hove and the innovative, creative and interactive website appeals to the young audience it’s targeting. That’s because young people have been the driving force behind the service from the outset. The city brought together a group of school students to discuss employability skills, employers’ expectations and barriers to getting a job, and as a result produced a short film. The students then interviewed potential employers around Brighton & Hove to explore employment opportunities and ways to increase their chances of getting a job. All this culminated in a collection of film clips, accessible advice and information available on the BEACH website, which is targeted at students but also used by parents and as a resource for teachers.
Smart Living: Ljubljana
Providing safe & equal opportunities in traffic for children & people with disabilities (Ljubljana)
Ljubljana admits that incorporating citizens’ views hasn’t traditionally been part of its mobility culture. But this is changing. The city now realises that by developing solutions together with schoolchildren, parents, and disabled citizens, it can make travelling around the city easier, safer and more convenient. For schoolchildren, it developed a web portal mapping transport options to different schools and identifying danger hotspots to help plan journeys. Recognising the complex needs of people with different disabilities, the city has developed a range of services to help them travel by public transport independently and with confidence. The move even required a change is legislation, as previously drivers were not obliged to leave their seats to help passengers board. Now, all drivers receive special training and Ljubljana has also introduced a pioneering system allowing citizens with downs syndrome or autism to travel independently, using an information card shown to the driver.