Voices from below. Vimeo / El Hueco Twitero

The potholes have been fitted with motion-sensitive devices. When a car runs over one of them, a tweet is sent automatically to the account of the Ministry of Public Works.

The Dubai of Latin America” is a nickname often used to refer to Panama City. But far below its sparkling skyline of office towers and apartment buildings, streets pocked with potholes make drivers’ daily life rather bumpy and unpleasant.

That’s why the TV show Telemetro Reporta has launched the project The Tweeting Pothole (El Hueco Twittero), installing motion-sensitive devices (link in Spanish) in the craters that mar Panama City’s streets. When a car runs over one of them, a tweet is sent automatically to the account of the Ministry of Public Works, according to the site.

The Tweeting Pothole from P4 Ogilvy on Vimeo.

The initiative has already gotten a reaction from a minister, Ramon Arosemena, who has declared that the Panama City’s holes are the result of years of “neglect and poor practice” in construction.

Telemetro Reporta has dedicated a section of the show to The Tweeting Pothole, a project created in collaboration with ad agency P4 Ogilvy & Mather, also gathering testimonies of citizens tired of the cracks. (This is the same agency that recently used DNA to create posters that shamed litterbugs in Hong Kong.)

“My next car will be a tank,” tweeted one young driver. “My baby is going to be born blurred due to so much shaking,” declared a pregnant woman. “Dampers, arrowhead, wheels… these wholes have broken every piece of my car,” said a cab driver.

There are plenty of visual gags too, like this one:

“We are trying to use humor and technology to try to solve a problem that is not easy to solve,” Pinky Mon, a Ogilvy & Mather vice president of creative services, told us.

The Tweeting Pothole is also mapping the most damaged streets of the city on a website. Users have reported on Twitter that workers from public works are finding their way to some of the tweeting potholes for quick repairs.

This post originally appeared on Quartz, an Atlantic partner site.

More from Quartz:

U.S. Airplane Emissions Are About to Be Regulated as a Danger to Your Health

Bill Gates: Keep Up the Momentum Against Child Mortality

Sony Could Soon Lose Its Most Valuable Asset: 007

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A photo of high-rises in Songdo, billed as the world's "smartest" city.
    Life

    Sleepy in Songdo, Korea’s Smartest City

    The hardest thing about living in an eco-friendly master-planned utopia? Meeting your neighbors.  

  2. A young man rides a hoverboard along a Manhattan street toward the Empire State Building in New York
    Transportation

    Why Little Vehicles Will Conquer the City

    Nearly all of them look silly, but if taken seriously, they could be a really big deal for urban transportation.

  3. Customers leave a branch of California National Bank of Los Angeles, one day after the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation closed CalNational and eight smaller related banks, in Los Angeles, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2009.
    Equity

    The Tax on Black and Brown Customers When Dealing With Community Banks

    According to a new study from New America, African Americans and Latinx incur more bank account costs and fees than whites even when dealing with small financial institutions.

  4. Transportation

    London’s $2 Billion Plan to Ease Congestion on the Tube

    Without these 250 new trains, the Underground might well be on a fast-track to meltdown.

  5. Transportation

    Madrid Takes Its Car Ban to the Next Level

    Starting in November, the city will make clear that downtown streets are not for drivers.