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On Tuesday, 29 September 2020, Luxembourg City Mayor Lydie Polfer, along with Chief Alderman Serge Wilmes and Patrick Goldschmidt, Alderman for transport and sanitation, unveiled "cityapp – VDL", the new mobile app filled with a range of new features and capabilities.
The Mayor had this to say: "The College of Aldermen believes it is vital to communicate and share information with the city's residents as well as those who come here every day to work or visit. With this in mind, the City of Luxembourg has created a wide range of communication tools for all target audiences. The new cityapp – VDL is the latest such creation. We hope as many people as possible will download it and make the most of everything that this fantastic tool has to offer."
The new app, which can be used in either English, French or German, adjusts to all user profiles (residents, people working in the city or visitors) in order to offer relevant services and forge a stronger connection between the City administration and the population.
An innovative app developed through civic engagement
Given the purpose of this new app, it was only natural that we would get its future users involved from the very beginning of the development process. Doing so meant that we could create an app that would most closely suit their needs. Beginning in February 2019, several qualitative and quantitative surveys were distributed to determine users' actual needs. Over 1,700 people responded, and their opinions helped shape the app.
After awarding the contract to design the new cityapp – VDL in April 2020, testing began in early August to check that everything was in line with the requirements. Once complete, the app went live in late September 2020.
Together with civic engagement, all this hard work has resulted in the creation of a one-of-a-kind tool developed by the City's Service Communication et relations publiques (Communications and Public Relations Department) in conjunction with the Service Technologies de l'information et de la communication (Department of Information and Communications Technology), the Service Topographie et géomatique (Surveying and Geomatics Department) and the Service Autobus (Bus Department). The total cost was €347,211.54 including tax.
The app was designed to complement the new version of the website, which was launched back in 2017. While the mobile version of the website is still the main way to read City news on a smartphone, the information is static and identical for every user. In contrast, the mobile app provides up-to-date and personalised information by way of push notifications triggered on the basis of users' real-time movements.
With such a wealth of information at their fingertips, users will consider the cityapp – VDL to be of real added value, as it will help makes their daily lives all the more easier. New features may be added to the app in the future in order to broaden the range of services currently available to users and thus make the app even more useful.