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Facing change and guiding Ontario into the next quarter century
What do you think of when you hear the term “public consultation?” Information displayed on poster boards and seven members of the public in attendance paired with ten staff members? York Region has taken on the challenge to transform community engagement using various technology platforms. Technology is one tactic used to enhance the community engagement process which requires extensive public consultation for the York Region Municipal Comprehensive Review (MCR). The official plan update requires close collaboration among York Region and its nine local municipalities. Demand for information sharing amongst municipal staff was identified as a critical requirement to successfully undertake the MCR. York Region’s Data, Analytics and Visualization staff developed a secure MCR partner hub site for data sharing through ArcGIS Online. This site allows users to post information for input and feedback to keep the continual dialogue going on the MCR. In this session, a demonstration of this tool will show users how data is shared amongst the partners, learn how to apply York Region’s experience of technology-based engagement methods as part of any consultation requirements, learn about the changing role of planners to find innovative ways to effectively communicate with the public and discover new tools and platforms available at little or no cost with limited technological knowledge to improve community engagement.