In urban development, issues that directly affect citizens’ lives are often on the agenda. Participation via elections is often not enough, as time periods are long and issues are not always predictable at the time of the election. In order to nevertheless get a picture of opinions on current urban development issues, new, complementary instruments for citizen participation are needed. This is where the project “Flash Poll Tool” comes in. The goal is to develop a tool that ensures timely and consistent communication between citizens and decision-makers. For this purpose, an app for smartphones is to be developed, with the help of which short surveys (in English “flash polls”) can be carried out. With the help of a feedback function, urban decision-making processes can be supported. After initial test runs at universities and schools, the project team wants to test the app in Berlin, Paris, Nantes and Stockholm. The survey tool is intended to overcome problems of the classic online survey:

  • Interest groups mobilise their supporters and manipulate the results;
  • The relationship between respondents, questioners and the subject of the question is not given;
  • The interview takes too long and
  • Participants do not get feedback on the overall result.

The Flash Poll tool uses spatial contextual information and geodata to target specific user groups of urban spaces. Mobile voting via smartphones makes it possible to place the survey in a close spatial and factual context. As this is a tool for public clients, data protection and personal rights play a central role. Part of nexus’ task is to identify user needs, develop usage scenarios for Berlin and organise the market launch.


Duration: 01/2013 – 12/2015
Clients: European Institutes of Technology, Forschungsserie Digital Cities
Team: Dr. Angela Jain (Project management), Nicolas Bach, Christoph Henseler
Project partner:
Zentrum Technik und Gesellschaft (ZTG), Technische Universität Berlin
Quality and Usability Labs (QU Labs), Technische Universität Berlin
Service-centric Networking (SNET), Technische Universität Berlin
Deutsche Telekom
KTH – Kungliga Tekniska högskolan (Königlich Technische Hochschule), Stockholm
University of Stockholm
Alfstore, Frankreich
Missions Publiques, Frankreich