Danish City Monitors Homeless Using GPS


In an attempt to improve the lives of its most impoverished citizen, the Danish city of Odense has given twenty GPS monitoring devices out to its homeless citizens.

Odense Denmark
City of Odense, Denmark

The council is hoping that in understanding the movements of its homeless citizens, it can better respond to the needs of the community as the devices will give them the ability to determine the best place to set up services like coffee rooms and benches.

Speaking to the Metroxpress Newspaper, Tom Rødding, a housing strategy consultant with the council, told Metroxpress newspaper commented: ‘Basically, we want to know how we as the council can make changes so that there can also be offers for the socially vulnerable. We know far too little about how they move about in the city. As far as I know, this has never been tried before.’

In exchange for citizens taking the GPS device the council will offer three warm meal tickets. The council believes the response from the homeless community has been positive.

‘Before we started this project we spoke with the homeless and they agreed to take part. We’ve offered them three food tickets to keep these GPS devices for a week. The plan is to do it every six months.’ Kristian Guldfeldt, a Konservative party spokesperson at the council told The Copenhagen Post.

The strategy has all of the hallmarks of a data capturing strategy that creates value exchange for both the community and the council. With a cross-benefit of connectivity, homeless citizens appear more willing to relinquish their privacy. In return, the council receives a unique insight into how they can better serve the section of the community. OCM.

Sources: The Copenhagen Post; CityLab

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