The municipality wants community input as they create master plans for the island.
An online tool called PlaceSpeak will provide opportunities for input in future consultations.
The platform is meant to help BIM connect with residents on upcoming projects and gather feedback. We want to “share information and receive authentic, legitimate and usable data,” says Sophie Idsinga, Communications Coordinator for the island.
Some of the projects that BIM has identified for upcoming consultation via PlaceSpeak include the Transportation Master Plan, the Recreation Master Plan, the Five Year Financial Plan and the Parks and Trails Master Plan.
“Bowen will be able to host an unlimited number of consultations throughout 2016 on a variety of community issues. After the year, BIM can make a decision to continue with the program if it has proven useful,” says Idsinga.
Mayor Murray Skeels says “council is always looking for ways to engage with more people in the community. We are excited for this opportunity to make things easier for residents to participate in the conversation.”
It’s hoped that PlaceSpeak will “transform ideas into legitimate data which can be used in the decision-making process.”
Residents will be able to engage in upcoming municipal initiatives and provide feedback from their homes.
The municipality won the complementary license to use the technology for one year while participating in the 2015 Union of BC Municipalities Trade Show.
The municipality lists numerous benefits of this technology as “providing a platform for residents to engage in respectful discussion around major initiatives which will have a meaningful impact on the community,” in addition to connecting residents with decision-makers on specific long-term projects.”
It is also the plan that this technology will ensure that data and feedback is authentic, legitimate.
Participants are geo-verified when they sign up which will help to ensure the feedback taken into consideration is coming from members of the community.
With the upcoming stages of planning, there will be multiple ways and opportunities for island residents to get involved with the process of online polling, discussion forums, interactive mapping and surveys.
To sign on, go to placespeak.com.