Keep Britain Tidy Love Clean Streets!
18 February 2010
Residents in London are being given the chance to fight environmental crimes with the aid of their mobile phones.
“LoveCleanStreets” is a free, online tool that enables people who work or live in London to upload photographs of the area around them. These photographs can be of a neighbourhood's ‘loved’ qualities which the user would like to share with others to promote their area or it could be something ‘unloved’ the user would like to bring to the attention of their local authority, such as graffiti or flytipping.
The photos, once uploaded, are then displayed on high-tech maps where anyone can see them. The reports can be tracked to see how local authorities are responding to 'unloved' areas.
The project was initially started in Lewisham where the council has run its own online scheme for the past five years called 'Love Lewisham'. Now with support from Capital Ambition and working in partnership with Keep Britain Tidy, Lewisham Council has developed the site for all London local authorities so that Londoners across the capital can take control of their local environment.
Since the Love Lewisham project started, the number of enviro-crimes in the borough has fallen.
According to the Audit Commssion complaints about graffiti have fallen by 30% and between June 2007 and August 2009 the amount and frequency of graffiti observed in the borough fell by 8%. Clean-up times have been cut dramatically and resident satisfaction with the Council’s street cleaning services has increased.
Now other areas outside of London are also hoping to see this level of success.
The Love Lewisham project has inspired other local authorities, such as Oxford City and Oldham Council, to introduce their own schemes. Toronto City Council in Canada has also looked at introducing its own version of the scheme.
Mayor of Lewisham, Sir Steve Bullock, said: “This is an excellent new development. Improving the physical environment of a neighbourhood makes an enormous difference to the quality of life for those living in it. Thanks to a lot of hard work and some amazing technological advances Lewisham's new scheme will make a real difference to the lives of Londoners.”
Users can submit reports using the free iPhone or Windows Mobile application by sending a text or by visiting the web site lovecleanstreets.org. There they can see and search for all the reports in their area, share them via social networking sites, review progress, or subscribe to updates. A “Live Map” shows reports as they appear in real time.
Phil Barton, Chief Executive of Keep Britain Tidy, said: “'We are delighted that LoveCleanStreets is to be rolled out across London. Encouraging local people to get involved and to report the problems they see will not only help councils to provide better street scene services but at the same time will build public support for their work. The adoption of smart solutions in this way will help keep London tidy and lead to cleaner, greener places.”