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Vancouver unveils online public engagement tool – Talk Vancouver

The City of Vancouver unveiled a new online public engagement tool Wednesday that it hopes will halt or at least slow the erosion of participation in civic affairs.

Concerned by persistent low voter turnout, lack of public interest in city council business, and the rise of small-base lobbying interests that can sometimes skew public opinion, the city is turning to technology to reach out to more of its citizens.

In doing so, Vancouver is joining a growing number of municipalities that, if they are not entirely bypassing traditional means of communication, are relegating such low-return ideas as open houses and household mailers to the back burner.

Vancouver’s new tool, “Talk Vancouver”, is similar to an online engagement program Surrey launched in April called “CitySpeaks”, in which people can sign up to participate in surveys and online forums, all tailored around civic issues, programs and ideas.

Read the article from The Vancouver Sun.