The mayor has announced a new initiative to help clean up the streets and parks of London. Love Clean London is a new app for most smart phones aimed at cutting the cost and increasing the efficiency of reporting and clearing up mess.
It's pretty simple. If you find an environmental ugliness (litter, graffiti, vandalism...), simply upload a photo or send a text. Your report gets pinpointed on Bing Maps and thus reported to local authorities.
Will it work? Probably, so long as they can filter out the inevitable spurious reports for ugly buildings, politicians and the like. Added to this, a surprising amount of street art is officially sanctioned (such as the Roundhouse leopard the BBC chose to illustrate this story).
Lewisham council said since the system went live its spending on street cleansing has been held at 2003-04 levels, complaints about graffiti fell by 30%, and there had been an 87% drop in the time taken to respond.
(With the old caveat that correlation does not necessarily imply causation.)
The app now works for the boroughs of Richmond, Greenwich, Sutton, Croydon, Merton and Haringey. Mayor Boris Johnson, launching the scheme in Richmond, appealed for other boroughs to take up the system.
Image by Zefrog in the Londonist Flickr pool.