11 Sustainable cities and communities

CityBugs is a social platform targeting young people aged 18-30 developed to raise awareness of and find solutions for critical issues in the local community. Using the slogan “Let’s make our city a better place to live” and a participatory approach, every citizen is invited to take responsibility for change by reporting the “bug” in their community and tracking solutions to reported problems. The “bugs” are filtered according to their thematic affiliation and reported to the Mayor’s office for solutions. A two-way communication design allows users to contact local authorities and to investigate the results.Citizens can access CityBugs through the web platform or by mobile app. Anyone can report any issue pertaining to garbage removal, traffic lights, health care problems, non-supportive infrastructure for disabled people, missing zebras or lighting in streets to name just a few.

Using Community Action Groups (CAGs), CityBugs activates youth to overcome apathy and low self-esteem, to learn volunteerism, open up career paths and discover the value of action for the common good, while improving services. CAG members collect bugs, verify the importance and reality of social issues, track the bug solutions, check and investigate how bugs are categorized and at later stages, provide pictures and reports on solved bugs. Ownership of the process by community residents is the key value for the platform. Initiated in Yerevan, CityBugs has spread to four other cities in Armenia.