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How Ashdod Used AI to Re-Build Public Trust

Ashdod, Israel
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Cost

Initial:
1 Thousand USD

Project Status

Operational since 2018

Keywords

AI
Artificial Intelligence

Challenges Addressed

Citizen Engagement
Transparency
Civic Technology
Transportation
Digital Government

Motivation

Smart city
Sustainable city

Funding / Financing

General Fund/Existing Public Funds

Project Type

Technology
Tool
Service

At a Glance

Ashdod, Israel, is implementing a smart, green, public Bus Rapid Transit system (BRT) that initially caused friction between City Hall and residents. The City used Zencity to understand and address resident concerns, which helped them gain support for the project and city administration as a whole.

Problem Addressed

The fast-growing city of Ashdod, Israel, is under the process of implementing an improved public Rapid Transit System (BRT). The residents' immediately expressed their disapproval for the project, which the city assumed was due to traffic and construction noise. Unfortunately, that was not the case and the administration faced heavy criticism that caused them to consider stopping the project.

Ashdod used/is using Zencity insights, enabled by artificial intelligence, to analyze, assess, and to address this/these challenge(s).

Solution(s) Used

With the situation deteriorating as a whole, the City turned to Zencity to get an understanding of what was happening. ZenCtiy’s topic analysis showed that residents didn't understand why Ashdod was investing in the BRT at all and that residents were disconnected from the project’s mission and vision. Furthermore, city leadership was made aware that the residents were losing trust in the administration as a whole. As a result of this information, the City was able to take action.

Outcomes

  1. The City identified the gap that existed between the City’s rationale for the BRT and the community’s understanding and expectations.
  2. The City designed and implemented a new communications strategy, focusing on communicating the vision and benefits of the project, not just the physical stages of the project.
  3. Using Zencity’s platform, Ashdod tracked the reach and effectiveness of its new communications campaign. The City saw discourse about the BRT change to become significantly more positive.
  4. The City was able to close the gap between residents and the City. It saw the public’s trust and support of City Hall return through Zencity's platform and surveys.

Something Unique

Ashdod was able to learn what the root cause of the residents' hostility was towards the project, and improve and better connect with residents with the use of AI and the Zencity platform.

Who Should Consider?

Any city that is looking to take a data-driven approach to understand citizen sentiment and improve communication between City Hall and its residents.

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