What Kind of City do the People
Want? Bringing Opinion Research
into the Digital Age
Ken Cameron FCIP
Adjunct Professor of...
Outline
• Planning for livability in the Vancouver region
• Urban Futures Survey
• PlaceSpeak: A New Tool for Public
Consu...
Key Elements in Planning for
Greater Vancouver
• Long-term commitment going back to 1940s
(with some interruptions)
• Visi...
Outline
• Planning for livability in the Vancouver region
• Urban Futures Survey
• PlaceSpeak: A New Tool for Public
Consu...
Urban Futures Survey 1973, 1990,
2012
• Representative sample of metropolitan
region’s population
• Components
– Demograph...
Areas of Focus
•
•
•
•
•
•

Environment
Community life
Mobility
Built environment
Managing growth
Governance
Urban Futures Survey Impact on
Policy
• 1973 – personal
interviews
• 1990 – telephone
survey
• 2012 – online survey
using ...
Location of Urban Futures Survey
2012 Respondents
Ranking of Issues: 1973, 1990,
2012
Ranking of Challenges: 2012
Ranking of Regional Growth
Strategies
Outline
• Planning for livability in the Vancouver region
• Urban Futures Survey
• PlaceSpeak: A New Tool for Public
Consu...
Why do we want effective citizen
engagement?
•
•
•
•

Political and public expectations
Certainty
Better decisions
Democra...
The old consultation system is broken
• Traditional forms of public consultation are
dysfunctional and ineffective: Public...
Need for a new paradigm
Challenges
•
•
•
•
•
•

Time
Respect for privacy
Language
Complexity of issues
Interactivity/Iterativeness
Integrity of re...
The potential of online engagement
•
•
•
•
•
•

Privacy
Convenience
Broader reach
Ability to present complex information
N...
We’re all adults here (aren’t we?)
Malcolm Knowles, a pioneer in the study of adult
learning, observed that adults learn b...
A burgeoning/bewildering
array of tools
Case in Point: PlaceSpeak
Participants (citizens)
• Sign up with email
address
• Verify identity
• Identify topics of inte...
Integrity
• Participants’ privacy is protected
• Participants are informed of the purpose of a
consultation and can decide...
Example:
Lingyen Mountain Temple
Definition of consultation area
Example:
Aldergrove Community Centre
Definition of consultation area
Outline
• Planning for livability in the Vancouver region
• Urban Futures Survey
• PlaceSpeak: A New Tool for Public
Consu...
Conclusions
• Citizen engagement is essential to a
successfully planned future
• Comprehensive opinion research can guide
...
What Kind of City do the People
Want? Bringing Opinion Research
into the Digital Age
Ken Cameron FCIP
kdcameron@kdcameron....
“What Kind of City do the People Want? Bringing Opinion Research into the Digital Age
“What Kind of City do the People Want? Bringing Opinion Research into the Digital Age
“What Kind of City do the People Want? Bringing Opinion Research into the Digital Age
“What Kind of City do the People Want? Bringing Opinion Research into the Digital Age
“What Kind of City do the People Want? Bringing Opinion Research into the Digital Age
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“What Kind of City do the People Want? Bringing Opinion Research into the Digital Age

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Presentation at the Community Indicators Consortium Impact Summit 2013. PlaceSpeak has emerged as a consultation tool at a time when traditional methods of public engagement are becoming contentious, expensive and unreliable. Because it builds up a user base of citizens interested in particular topics and/or particular geographic areas, PlaceSpeak has the potential to establish continuing interactive relationships between citizens and their local governments in a way that is convenient and respects privacy. Examples of practical applications will be provided in the presentation.

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“What Kind of City do the People Want? Bringing Opinion Research into the Digital Age

  1. 1. What Kind of City do the People Want? Bringing Opinion Research into the Digital Age Ken Cameron FCIP Adjunct Professor of Urban Studies Simon Fraser University Director, PlaceSpeak Inc.
  2. 2. Outline • Planning for livability in the Vancouver region • Urban Futures Survey • PlaceSpeak: A New Tool for Public Consultation • Conclusions
  3. 3. Key Elements in Planning for Greater Vancouver • Long-term commitment going back to 1940s (with some interruptions) • Vision-based: “Cities in a Sea of Green;” “The Livable Region” • Based on public participation and opinion research: The Urban Futures Survey
  4. 4. Outline • Planning for livability in the Vancouver region • Urban Futures Survey • PlaceSpeak: A New Tool for Public Consultation • Conclusions
  5. 5. Urban Futures Survey 1973, 1990, 2012 • Representative sample of metropolitan region’s population • Components – Demographic, household, employment – Statements – agree scale – Issues and problems – ranked – Regional plan priorities – ranking of five goals
  6. 6. Areas of Focus • • • • • • Environment Community life Mobility Built environment Managing growth Governance
  7. 7. Urban Futures Survey Impact on Policy • 1973 – personal interviews • 1990 – telephone survey • 2012 – online survey using PlaceSpeak • Livable Region Plan proposals • Creating Our Future Vision and Livable Region Strategic Plan • Confirmation/ranking of regional planning goals
  8. 8. Location of Urban Futures Survey 2012 Respondents
  9. 9. Ranking of Issues: 1973, 1990, 2012
  10. 10. Ranking of Challenges: 2012
  11. 11. Ranking of Regional Growth Strategies
  12. 12. Outline • Planning for livability in the Vancouver region • Urban Futures Survey • PlaceSpeak: A New Tool for Public Consultation • Conclusions
  13. 13. Why do we want effective citizen engagement? • • • • Political and public expectations Certainty Better decisions Democracy
  14. 14. The old consultation system is broken • Traditional forms of public consultation are dysfunctional and ineffective: Public meetings, Door knocking, Land line telephones. • Online consultation to date has been anonymous and “one-off;” it suffers from: Trolls, Gaming the system, anecdotal Social Media. • Online Consultation typically lacks verifiable feedback data to inform evidence-based decisionmaking and public policy development.
  15. 15. Need for a new paradigm
  16. 16. Challenges • • • • • • Time Respect for privacy Language Complexity of issues Interactivity/Iterativeness Integrity of results
  17. 17. The potential of online engagement • • • • • • Privacy Convenience Broader reach Ability to present complex information Neutrality/open-mindedness Interactivity/Iterativeness
  18. 18. We’re all adults here (aren’t we?) Malcolm Knowles, a pioneer in the study of adult learning, observed that adults learn best when: • They understand why something is important to know or do • They have the freedom to learn in their own way • Learning is experiential • The time is right for them to learn • The process is positive and encouraging
  19. 19. A burgeoning/bewildering array of tools
  20. 20. Case in Point: PlaceSpeak Participants (citizens) • Sign up with email address • Verify identity • Identify topics of interest (by area or by subject) • Participate through surveys, discussion forums, etc. Proponents (cities, developers, utilities, etc.) • Register and identify a topic • Determine who can participate by area and/or topic • Choose consultation tools • Engage with participants and report outcomes
  21. 21. Integrity • Participants’ privacy is protected • Participants are informed of the purpose of a consultation and can decide whether or not to participate • Proponents are screened • No advertising • Data is not sold
  22. 22. Example: Lingyen Mountain Temple
  23. 23. Definition of consultation area
  24. 24. Example: Aldergrove Community Centre
  25. 25. Definition of consultation area
  26. 26. Outline • Planning for livability in the Vancouver region • Urban Futures Survey • PlaceSpeak: A New Tool for Public Consultation • Conclusions
  27. 27. Conclusions • Citizen engagement is essential to a successfully planned future • Comprehensive opinion research can guide engagement and policy making • Online mechanisms offer vast potential to enhance opinion research and broaden and deepen engagement • There is even the potential to transform the relationship between citizen and government
  28. 28. What Kind of City do the People Want? Bringing Opinion Research into the Digital Age Ken Cameron FCIP kdcameron@kdcameron.com www.placespeak.com www.urbanfuturessurvey.com
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