Smart City – Community Engagement
The Bush Telegraph
Have you ever heard of the bush telegraph? It’s an old Australian means of community engagement. There would be a massive pot hole in the road. You would tell your neighbor. That neighbor would tell 2 of their neighbors. And so on until the community knows about the pot hole. The local council eventually notified. Detours put in place until the pot hole was repaired. Over the years, this communication has expanded. There is now an abundance of places to get information. For example; radio, television, internet, social media and the good old newspaper. We can get the information, but sometimes giving information can be difficult. Smart Cities are offering an improved way for communities to gather and share information.
INFORM AND CONSULT
Keeping the community up to date. For example, keeping them informed of road works.
INCLUDE AND COLLABORATE
Involving the community key initiatives. For example, crime prevention planning.
EMPOWER AND CO-CREATE
Everyone works together to discuss a proposal and action together.
Smart City Community Engagement is all about sharing information. This sharing is 2 directional. For example, at present a resident sees a crack in the side walk. The resident needs to look up how to notify council. Go through the process of notifying council. Gather any further information. A process that is too long. Therefore, the resident continues to avoid the crack. Until either the council notices or someone gets hurt. Smart City Community Engagement can offer a quick and easy way for the resident to notify the council. The resident can easily take a photo on and upload it to council website. Council then actions the problem.
Smart Cities are all about technology making life easier for people. Therefore, Community Engagement is so important in a Smart City. People are key in Smart Cities, because technology has no purpose without people. Further reading has more information on Smart City Community Engagement.