Coronavirus and The Importance of Smart City Platforms

Author photo: Jim Frazer
ByJim Frazer
Industry Trends

Coronavirus and The Importance of Smart City Platforms

Hyperlocal Coronavirus Discussions

In my local community in south Palm Beach County, Florida  the importance of community cohesion and a coordinated response to the coronavirus pandemic has been demonstrated through citizen dialogues on NextDoor, a community building smart city platform. Of course, many other community platforms are also just as important – from Twitter to Facebook and even Meetup.

In the NextDoor example, here in South Florida, over the past weekend, news was shared by citizens about a local confirmed case, quickly community information began to be shared about national, state, city and many other very local “hyperlocal” resources. This includes neighbors helping neighbors through doorstep delivery of food, medical and other supplies.

National and Local Coronavirus Resources

Additionally, like many other social media platforms, NextDoor has formally been in contact with the CDC and WHO in order to act as a conduit to local residents. Perhaps more importantly Nextdoor has enabled local public agencies to bring relevant Coronavirus information to their areas, down to very small areas of even a few hundred residents – or smaller.

As NextDoor is active in 11+ countries, and the Coronavirus is having a dramatic impact worldwide, you might consider participation in the hyperlocal discussions being hosted by this unique platform

So what is NextDoor?

Founded in 2011, Nextdoor is an online platform positioned as the “world’s largest social network for the neighborhood”.  Specifically, its mission is to facilitate conversations that empower neighbors to create stronger and safer communities.  Nextdoor is pursuing this objective by defining the physical boundaries of individual neighborhoods, and building an associated, private online community site for each. Users are required to verify that they have a local address before they are allowed to join a neighborhood’s Nextdoor site.  Once an online neighborhood has a critical mass of members, those members can begin creating discussion forums on a range of topics.  For example, users commonly leverage the platform to find babysitters, locate lost pets, sell personal items and review local businesses

Nextdoor is based in San Francisco, California, the company was founded in 2008 and launched in the United States in October 2011. Nextdoor is a privately-held company based in San Francisco with backing from prominent investors including Benchmark, Shasta Ventures, Greylock Partners, Kleiner Perkins, Riverwood Capital, Bond, Axel Springer, Comcast Ventures and others.

Other Useful Coronavirus Links:

CDC Social Distancing Guidance:

CDC Updates:

World Health Organization

Next Door

Johns Hopkins Corona Virus Statistics Map:


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