International Examples of Online Engagement
An NGO, Janaagraha, is aiming to strengthen community participation in local urban governance in Bangalore, India by using an interactive online website called i change my city. This website allows you to provide spatially tagged information and feedback (including photos) to council.
This is not a new concept – a similar initiative is underway in Toronto. Most of these apps and websites focus on graffiti and complaints (also covered in ‘I change my city’). However, what I really like about ‘I change my city’ are the vast array of features that allow you to tag community groups so the public can more easily connect with others, comment on public forums about local civic issues and better interact with local civic service providers.
Another example of this is Min Stad (My City) from the Swedish city of Göteborgs. What I love about this site is the sweet 3D graphics that show a range of services and facilities tagged by users.
These examples show a nifty way to promote interactive community consultation. Whilst several Victorian Councils are moving towards a greater online presence more could be done to promote digital interactive engagement. There is an opportunity to combine such new tools with face-to-face engagement as part of an integrated and holistic consultation program. Perhaps we should consider greater use of tools like this for Regional Plans and our Metro Strategy?