Here is a brief write-up of the presentation that appears in the Summer 2012 edition of Planning West, The PIBC’s quarterly news magazine:
PlaceSpeak: Claim Your Place, Speak Your Mind
by Siobhan Murphy, MCIP, RPP
How to reach people online where they live?
This session outlined the new PlaceSpeak tool, which is an online public consultation tool that is having a great deal of uptake in a number of communities across BC and in other parts of Canada. Colleen Hardwick, the Founder and CEO, who also has a background in Urban Geography and sat on the City of Vancouver’s Development Permit Board, presented the architecture of this tool. Hardwick maintains that thepublic consultation process is fraught with challenges, that it is difficult retaining public trust over a planning process, ensuring that people are heard, and that everyone has an opportunity for input.
Recognizing that often it is the dissenters that attend public meetings, and that the rest of the constituency often don’t attend because they don’t have time, or they don’t want to put forward an opposing opinion in public; an online tool such as PlaceSpeak can add meaningful responses from many morecommunity residents.
PlaceSpeak has been designed to authenticate people to the place where they live, based on their individual Internet Protocol (IP) address on their computer. Also, it has the anonymity of being online, so that people can express their opinion without fear of reprisal. So people are authenticated to the place where they live, but PlaceSpeak also respects privacy laws, which is a significant concern.
The other component of PlaceSpeak is that it provides a reward. But it’s not money or things. Data suggests that people can be rewarded non-monetarily, with stars or icons. This practice is linked to ’gamifcation’ theory and behavioral psychology: people like to be rewarded for input, but they don’t need money, they need recognition. Place Speak recently worked with the City of New Westminster on consultation for the City’s New Westminster Transportation Plan. The response rate was far greater online than those that completed surveys at the open houses.
Look for a more in-depth article on PlaceSpeak in the Fall issue of Planning West.
PlaceSpeak is deeply committed to protecting your privacy. Only you can see your profile. You alone control your public visibility settings. To others, you are a green dot on a map. When you connect with a topic, you confirm that you live within the relevant local area.
PlaceSpeak is not funded by advertising and we will never sell or disclose your information.
In this video, PlaceSpeak founder and CEO, Colleen Hardwick talks about our commitment to privacy.
The city of Fort St. John has launched its “Let’s Talk Site C” campaign, which will include public consultation over the next couple of months through talks in the park with city council, and dialogue on a website. At the centre is a community survey located on PlaceSpeak where residents can find information, view videos, and participate in discussions about protecting the best interests of our city.
About Site C
British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority (BC Hydro) is proposing the Site C Clean Energy Project(Site C). If approved, Site C will be the third dam and hydroelectric generating station on the Peace River. It will be located approximately 7 km from the City of Fort St John (City).
The City of Fort St. Johnwill be the municipality most impacted by Site C. If the project is approved, it will not only have short-term impacts on the community during construction, it will alter future life in Fort St. John and the region.
Fort St. John’s Role
The City of Fort St. John neither supports nor opposes the proposed Site C project.
However, it is Mayor and Council’s first priority to protect the interests of our community. Council will be developing a comprehensive statement of the community’s objectives and interests, in the form of a position paper, to present to BC Hydro this fall. It is our intent that the paper will assist BC Hydro and the decision-makers to identify key areas of concern for the City.
Join the Discussion Today!
Fort St. John council is asking community members to help define and develop the interests and objectives to ensure they reflect the needs and desires of our community as a whole. We encourage you to review the community briefing paper called Let’s Talk Site C. It is designed to give you background on the City’s approach and a brief description of the objectives Council is considering requiring BC Hydro to meet if the proposed Site C project is approved.
You can view videos in the Gallery, in which Mayor Ackerman introduces the City’s approach and briefly describes the objectives Council is suggesting.
Also, we hope you’ll plan to attend upcoming Eventsto participate in community discussions and dialogue.
Finally, we ask you to add your views through the communitySurvey and join in the Discussionon this site.