Wikis for citizen engagement in urban planning

A small community in the tsunami zone on Vancouver Island was reviewing their official plan this year, and decided to try increasing community engagement in the urban planning process.

The District of Ucluelet chose to add an online component to this process in the form of a wiki. How cool is that!

I don’t know how practical that would be in a bigger city.  The number of posts on controversial issues could get overwhelming, or sometimes heated (Ucluelet, in translation, means ‘safe harbour’…).

Still, the City of Vancouver has a ways to go – seems they run ads in community papers either offering one or two specific evenings, where people must get up and speak at a microphones if they want to voice an opinion, or not infrequently, the public can offer opinions in person during weekdays when most people are working.  I’ve not yet seen a line in the print ads that says, ‘if you can’t make this time but the issue is important to you, you may submit your comments to xxxxx’.  Three weeks until the municipal vote.  You might want to ask candidates about their ideas for increasing opportunities for citizen engagement.

Thanks for this lead to Boxcar Marketing.

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