Macon-Bibb County

SmartNeighborhoodsMBC - Georgia Smart and Community Research Partnership Extension

Georgia Smart Project Period (2019 – 2020)

Utilizing Georgia Smart grant funding, Macon-Bibb county built a foundation for a Smart Kiosk system to integrate existing mobile applications and smart solutions.

Macon-Bibb County has several existing mobile applications and browser-based Smart Solutions including a 311 application (See, Click, Fix), an open-data portal geo-hub (MaconInsights), and an online employment applicant system (Neogov). These services are currently available to web and mobile users but out of reach of the economically disadvantaged neighbors who don’t have access to highspeed internet or smart phone devices.

“Macon-Bibb Government is honored to be recognized as an emerging GA Smart Community by the Georgia Smart Communities Challenge. SmartNeighborhoodsMBC as part of our overall SmarterTogetherMBC Smart City strategy provides support for each of our governing principles for Effective Government and Governance. SmartNeighborhoodsMBC promotes equitable access to technology in underserved and at-risk neighborhoods.” – Dr. Keith Moffett, Macon-Bibb County Manager

SmartNeighborhoodsMBC seeks to promote equity in economically stressed neighborhoods by placing Smart Kiosks in strategic locations such as community centers, libraries, recreation centers, high traffic pedestrian areas and public buildings. By partnering with the local transit authority, school district, institutions of higher learning and neighborhood improvement districts, they can effectively reach citizens where they work or live.

This will provide the under-privileged citizen better access and engagement with their local government departments. Using these Smart Kiosks citizens can directly apply for jobs within local government and other community organizations by using SmartNeighborhoodsMBC. They can find information on elections, public health, safety, crime and services like Mosquito Spraying and Solid Waste pickup schedules instead of traveling to city hall.

Macon-Bibb county partnered with Georgia Tech research scientist Dr. Arthi Rao, Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development, to utilize spatial and statistical analytics to develop a “Smart Location Index” to optimize the placement of kiosks and maximize their usage. They benchmarked existing “Smart Kiosk” models/technologies and designed a robust stakeholder engagement strategy to develop specifications that are responsive to community needs and preferences.

To learn about the project activities from the Georgia Smart project period, you can watch the project’s final presentation below:

 

Community Resarch Partnership Extension (2021 – 2022)

Courtesy of LG-MRI, one prototype kiosk has been procured for installation in a strategic transportation hub in Macon Bibb County. To ensure the browser-based content and other applications are available to local residents, Macon-Bibb is continuing work with GT researcher Dr. Arthi Rao. Working together, the team is ensuring the kiosk is configured to meet the needs of city parameters, as well as to efficiently collect and analyze use data.

After installation, university students can be trained in intercept survey data collection, as data collection and analysis will be also part of this collaboration to understand usage and improve usability. The data insight will be shared with other county agencies to improve their public processes and services.

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