Detroit introduces smartphone app for residents to report issues


Detroit officials Wednesday unveiled a new smartphone app that will now allow residents to report potholes, broken water mains, and busted traffic signals directly to the city.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said the app is akin to "having City Hall on your phone." 

"From wherever they are, this simple tool will allow residents to report an urgent problem we may not know about," Duggan said in a statement Wednesday. "They will be able to report the type of problem, the exact location, and even submit a photo." 

Once a report has been filed, city officials will be notified and create a work order; the app, called "Improve Detroit," will send automatic notifications to residents to track the process.

Initially, residents will also be able to report dangerous trees located on city-owned property; downed street light poles; abandoned vehicles; running water in an abandoned building or home; missing and defective manhole covers; broken fire hydrants; and clogged rains. More are expected to be added later.

“From an accountability standpoint, it’s important for the public to know what issues have been reported and if the city is following through,” Duggan said. “This is a transparent process from start to finish.”

Officials said all reported issues will be made public through the city's data portal

The app, called "Improve Detroit," is equipped for Android and Apple devices, and it can be downloaded for free. Residents without smartphones or access to a computer can file complaints through Detroit's ombudsman's office at 313-224-6000. 

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