PlaceSpeak provides a controlled, secure, privacy-protected, and transparent platform for organizations to gather public input on a wide variety of projects from a local community or wider geographic region. PlaceSpeak is citizen-focused, transparent, open and accountable. All data collected is from real people.
Our platform adds value to public consultation and engagement processes. This value is added through generating verifiable data to support decision-making by communicating with participants online according to their actual address and personal preferences. We help organizations gather defensible, geographically coded information to satisfy the need for public consultation and engagement.
The development of PlaceSpeak was influenced by the International Association of Public Participation [IAP2] Spectrum of Participation (pdf). The platform is designed to allow for genuine, open and transparent engagement that:
taps into the wisdom of the entire community;
can effectively engage, at different levels and at different times, all who want to participate in the engagement process (not just a selected segment);
satisfies people’s desire to be heard on their own terms and at their own pace and time;
increases the number of voices that are being heard;
each new consultation expands the base of users due to the people-centred networking effect;
is more inclusive and gives people a more equitable way to participate;
allows the community to weigh in on the definition of the problem and provide ideas for solutions;
allows the community to see how their voice is used in shaping outcomes in the overall decision making process;
re-defines the relationship between community and decision makers; and
over time fosters community pride and community well-being.
PlaceSpeak believes that to for a public engagement process to be valuable to decision-makers, participants should be accountable for the input they provide. To be accountable you have to be real; and to be real you have to verify that you are who you say you are. The incentive for residents to claim their place with PlaceSpeak is that they only have to do it once. Once a resident claims their place, they are able to participate on any topic of interest that is connected with their geographic location(s)of interest to you, according to the parameters of the consultation proponent.
Personal information collected from residents by PlaceSpeak—including physical addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses—is used to serve as a bridge between participants and the topics they choose to connect to. When a participant connects to a topic, s/he becomes a verifiable data point that can be counted to ensure that their input is recorded and heard. Participants are able to choose how their name and image are seen by other viewers. PlaceSpeak is not funded by advertiser and we will never sell your information to third parties.
PlaceSpeak CEO Colleen Hardwick, shown with colleagues Yuri Artibise, left, and Justen Harcourt, said the Urban Futures survey is ‘again echoing or cementing what we know about the region’s perceptions about transportation.’
Health care, transportation top regional concerns
Urban Futures Survey shows shift away from pollution, crimeBy Kelly Sinoski, Vancouver Sun April 22, 2013
Air pollution was a huge worry for Metro Vancouver in the 1970s and early 1990s, but health care and traffic congestion have taken over as bigger concerns, according the latest Urban Futures survey released today.
The 2012 regional survey, which replicates two surveys in 1973 and 1990, found health care was the most pressing challenge among 1,407 people surveyed, followed by traffic congestion, homelessness and increasing housing supply.
Air and water pollution, which held first and second place in 1973 and 1990, fell to fifth and sixth place last year. Concerns about crime also fell from No. 4 in 1972 to 11 last year.
Ken Cameron, director of PlaceSpeak, a new start-up that provides a virtual consultation forum, said the results reflect the work that’s been done in the past 40 years to address the earlier concerns, as well as highlight what’s needed to deal with rising issues like health care and transportation.
Health care had been ranked ninth on the priority list in 1973 and third in 1990. The survey suggests the change in ranking may reflect in part the aging population, as well as concerns over reliable service delivery.
“Health care may be a function of aging population but it’s seen as a critical need,” Cameron said. “I’ve got the feeling people are feeling the health care system is under stress.”
Traffic congestion has also become a bigger issue — rising from sixth and seventh respectively in the 1973 and 1990 surveys — as a result of public policy to emphasize transit, walking and cycling over single-occupant vehicles.
But the survey found the significance of those issues varied across the region, and by the age of the respondents.
Those under 35, for instance, were less likely than the older demographic to see health care and transportation infrastructure as critical priorities and were more sensitive to socio-economic difficulties.
Housing supply, which may reflect the difficulty many encounter finding an affordable first home, and homelessness were bigger issues for the under-35 set than for those who were older.
Individual respondents in Vancouver also aren’t as worried as those in the rest of the region about health care, ranking it “fairly consistently as the third most important issue in the region,” behind homelessness and housing, which were generally ranked third and sixth respectively in other municipalities.
Traffic congestion, which was No. 1 in most municipalities except Richmond and the Tri-Cities, was ranked No. 4 in the City of Vancouver.
“Now the emphasis is on transportation in this region,” said PlaceSpeak CEO Colleen Hardwick, founder of New City Ventures, which is involved in the creation of the PlaceSpeak platform. “Whether it’s TransLink, Metro or the mayors’ council, this is again echoing or cementing what we know about the region’s perceptions about transportation.”
Cameron said the findings likely reflect the fact that people in dense urban centres have more access to transit than those in the suburbs, so they aren’t stuck in traffic as often. But he noted it’s interesting that most respondents said getting to work wasn’t a particular problem, a response that hasn’t changed much in 40 years.
Tags: Colleen Hardwick, Justen Harcourt, Ken Cameron, Metro Vancouver, Mike Harcourt, Traffic congestion, TransLink, Urban area, Vancouver, Vancouver Sun, Yuri Artibise
The high rating for traffic congestion, he suggested, might be explained by an observation that drivers have experienced on non-work trips, or from news media.
“Given the overall interest in relieving traffic congestion, it should be somewhat disconcerting that Metro Vancouver residents have gradually viewed the car as more essential for their sense of freedom,” the survey stated. “Individuals may be less receptive to alternative modes of travel, or existing choices are not effective at meeting their needs.”
Transportation concerns, particularly improving public transit, ranked first and second on the policy question in the survey. Sustainability and environmental issues also ranked high in the survey, which may have influenced the main concern of providing better public transit.
Hardwick said residents should realize this data’s importance.
“I don’t know that people understand that data does affect outcomes,” she said. “They feel disconnected from it, or feel it’s going into a black hole. Certainly in 1990 when we collected that data it did impact outcomes.”
Former Vancouver mayor and B.C. premier Mike Harcourt, chairman of New City Ventures, said the survey is a “gold mine of information to help policy-makers develop deep knowledge of the things that are important to residents of Metro Vancouver and to prepare appropriate responses.”
The survey found also found that most respondents agree with the view that individuals from many cultures enhance the quality of urban life. There was also a noticeable increase in the desirability of living in developed urban areas as well as acceptability of apartment living.
The survey had a margin of error at plus or minus 3.17 per cent 19 times out of 20.
Here is the video of the latest Warren Gill Memorial Lecture: “Is Public Space a Public Good?” by Mark Kingwell, presented on February 21, 2013 at SFU Woodward’s.
Mark Kingwell, an author and critic, led the lecture, focusing on one question: Is public space a public good? Public space is routinely seen as the cure to every imaginable urban ill, from air quality to obesity. But how much of what we call public space is really public? Kingwell considered this problem, together with its implications for the notion of urban play and the so-called “right to the city.” He concluded with some reflections on the relationship between the city and the university.
Mark Kingwell is an award-winning professor of philosophy at the University of Toronto and the author or co-author of 17 books of political, cultural, and aesthetic theory, including the national bestsellers Better Living (1998), The World We Want (2000), Concrete Reveries (2008), and Glenn Gould (2009).
A good synopsis of the lecture was posted on the Vancouver Public Space Network.Tags: Mark Kingwell, PlaceSpeak, Vancouver, Warren Gill, YouTube
PlaceSpeak advances public consultation to a whole new level . We enablee evidence-based decision-making by allowing citizens to influence the process in an open, safe, secure and transparent manner.
PlaceSpeak, Video, Will Cadell
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