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The Genesis of PlaceSpeak


Colleen Hardwick talks about how the idea of PlaceSpeak came about:



The idea of PlaceSpeak came from a specific example of a consultation problem I was examining.  In Vancouver, there is an area called the Arbutus corridor, which is a fallow rail corridor that goes through the west side of the city.  It has sat fallow all these years—all these decades now—because the City of Vancouver and the CPR(Canada Pacific Railway), who own the rail land, have never been able to come to a consensus with the people who live along the line. There has been a lot of vision processes that have been done over time, but community consultation has been the log jam that has prevented successful land-use policy developing around that particular location. One day, I was looking at the map trying to figure out how I could stimulate public participation and consultation through the nine individual neighbourhood segments that go down the Arbutus corridor.  I was looking at Google Maps and before my eyes I started to visualize green dots popping up on the map.  These dots represented people claiming their residential addresses online.  In my mind’s eye, this allowed them to communicate and consult according to where they lived.  Little successful engagement has been done online based on where people live.  We tend to do thing anonymously online.This was the ah-ha! moment where the big light bulb went on over my head.



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