Updated: Jan 3, 2020
Written by: Larry Goodfellow
Market research online communities were initially created for businesses, but later cities began realizing that they are perfect for building community consensus and for being more effective than traditional town hall meetings.
Edmonton Engages Residents
When residents of Edmonton said that the City could be doing a better job engaging residents, the City listened. Now Edmonton has an Office of Public Engagement and one of their first orders of business was creating an online research community where residents could weigh in on issues like development, use of herbicide, bike paths and pedestrian plazas. Members contribute both qualitative research and quantitative research for their online community. Surveys are given on a wide range of issues, and each month there is a monthly Mixed-Topic Survey.
Through this input from the community (MROC), the city has been able to transform an alley on the north side of 82 Avenue, between 104 Street and 105 Street into a beautiful pedestrian plaza. Another example of the online civic community’s influence came December 2014, when members were asked how they would revise notice mail outs regarding local development plans. Members could redesign the interactive mail out to a form that they thought looked best, along with the ability to comment on the notices. The response from the community gave the city direction in how they should best format the content for the notices.
3000 members and growing
The community is quickly growing, and has over 3,000 members with hopes of reaching 5,000 by the end of January. Members are able to complete surveys on their phone, tablet or computer. On average the surveys take 15 minutes to complete with an option to do other surveys when finished. If you are an Edmontonian you can go to the Edmonton Insight Community to sign up and start making your city a better place.
Let’s talk about communities. Contact us now to start the discussion!